As the 2016 NFL season kicks off, the San Francisco 49ers will host their opener tonight at Levi’s Stadium — the first professional sports venue to also be home to a farm.
Okay, maybe not a ‘farm’ in the conventional sense, but it qualifies according to Merriam-Webster, which says a farm is ‘a piece of land used for growing crops and raising livestock.’
Overshadowed by the hubbub surrounding their backup quarterback and the national anthem, the 49ers organization unveiled a 4000 sq ft rooftop vegetable and herb garden last week. The ‘Faithful Farm’, as its been dubbed, features nearly 40 crops and herbs that will be incorporated into foods served at the stadium.
“The Faithful Farm represents the strongest commitment an NFL team has made to local, organic produce,” said Lara Hermanson, principal at Farmscape, an urban farming venture in California that is managing the rooftop garden. “The farm will educate the community on how many items can be grown in their own backyard, while providing local jobs and great food.”
Following organic practices, they say the ‘farm’ has been producing tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, eggplants, herbs and other produce since July.
The Faithful Farm is expected to produce an average of 150 lbs of produce per week, or 7,500 lbs per year.