Fenway’s Green behind the Green Monster

Gordon Edes
3 min readJul 18, 2019


By Rachel C. Kirby

Rachel C. Kirby is a Ph.D candidate in the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University. This summer she is interning for Red Sox team historian, Gordon Edes. Unless otherwise noted, she also took the photographs included in this story.

Five years since making its debut, it remains one of the most unexpected sights at Fenway Park. Who would have ever imagined an organic vegetable garden on the rooftop of America’s oldest ballpark?

Blue skies peek from behind the clouds over Fenway Farms, much to the delight of the veggies growing below.

This June, Fenway Farms celebrated its fifth season of planting (Q. What do you serve at a farm’s birthday party? A. Carrot cake) since Linda Pizzuti Henry, the wife of Red Sox owner John W. Henry and one of the team’s limited partners, lobbied to replace the black rubber roof behind the third-base luxury suites with a garden of delights. Her vision became reality with the start of the 2015 season, when the Red Sox partnered with Recover Green Roofs and Green City Growers to launch the project.

Rather than the usual fan favorites like Betts, Benintendi, and Devers, the Fenway Farm lineup boasts of the latest productive crops on site.

Recover Green Roofs is a Somerville-based organization that transforms otherwise unused urban roofs into productive green spaces by waterproofing, constructing, and protecting existing structures. Managing the garden is Green City Growers (our “other farm team”), which maintains hidden gardens like Fenway’s throughout the Northeast.

Green City Growers hard at work amid the summer produce.

Using a deceptively simple milk-crate container planting system, Green City Growers plants a wide variety of produce, including kale, cilantro, collards, mint, scallions, strawberries, sweet peppers, zucchini, and even edible flowers. The 5,000 square feet of Fenway Farms have already produced over 20,000 pounds of produce. Much of the harvest is used right here on site in the Dell-EMC Club, luxury suites and media dining room. Little goes to waste, though, as all additional produce is donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls to share with community food banks.

Rows of green fill the rooftop of the third level of Fenway, a fresh oasis from the urban surroundings.

This isn’t the first time a baseball field has been farmed. In 2000, former bullpen coach John Cumberland grew 18 tomato plants in the bullpen, hoping those 18 would bring him the luck of the 1918 World Series team. The Mets, Braves, and Tigers have all done a bit of gardening in their bullpens. Since 2010, the San Diego Padres’s Petco Park, the Rockies’ Coors Field, and the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park have become home to edible gardens.

Fans watch the game with their backs to Fenway Farms. — An aerial view of Fenway Park during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on August 3, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images).

And if you’ve ever gotten a tour from Red Sox historian Gordon Edes, you’ll know that Fenway Farms is his favorite part of the park. One of these days you’ll be able to find him sitting amongst the veggies on a folding chair doing what he does best. Telling baseball stories.



Gordon Edes

Gordon Edes was an award-winning sportswriter for 35 years and spent nearly five years as the historian for the Boston Red Sox