Urban garden growing at T-Mobile Park to provide produce to communities with food insecurity

SEATTLE — A new urban garden is growing at T-Mobile Park after the Seattle Mariners joined a national effort to send fresh food over the walls and out of the ballpark.

Mariners ground crews are used to keeping the field at T-Mobile Park pristine, but now they’re branching out to partner with other groups to grow a garden that will provide fresh produce to under-resourced communities.

“It feels, you know, pretty special to be here, and then the first time we had planted the garden, we couldn’t get back in for a couple weeks, so I didn’t really know what was happening – fingers crossed, you know. I came around the corner and was able to see it clearly thriving,” said Stephen Dorsch with Common Acre.

The Mariners say, “back the blue,” but the group is also trying to back the green by partnering with nonprofit Common Acre to grow an urban garden at the ballpark behind center field.

“This is already one of the most immediately bountiful gardens that we are tending, so it’s really exciting, from even just the perspective of being a gardener. We came here, planted it very recently, and it’s already exploding,” said gardener Nat Mengist.

Garden players include Swiss chard, collard greens, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, herbs like lavender and basil, and even some flowers.

It’s an effort that’s already yielding crops that will be donated to communities that live with food insecurity.

Tito’s Vodka is also supporting the extra field of green in the ballpark.

“The odd home run in the cucumbers is a bit of an issue, but past that it’s OK,” Brendan Byass of Tito’s Vodka joked. “What we’re most excited about is the awareness that this brings to folks about community gardens. There are so many community garden efforts going on in the greater city area that folks might not know about, and as part of this, I think it brings awareness and we’re excited for folks to learn about this.”