Annual harvest at Coors Field GaRden a purple affair

Representatives from CSU, the Colorado Rockies and Aramark recently celebrated the fourth annual harvest at the Coors Field GaRden.

This year, the Specialty Crops Program in CSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture grew organic transplants for the GaRden in the new Horticulture Center on campus.

rockiesgarden2The Rockies and Aramark, the Rockies’ exclusive food and beverage partner, join with Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment to plant the GaRden near Gate A at the ballpark every spring. When it was launched three years ago it was baseball’s first on-site, sustainable garden producing food for use in the stadium.

The Rockies and Aramark staff and a CSU team planted a host of edible flowers, assorted vegetables and herbs. Mark Uchanski, a CSU assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Specialty Crops Program Assistant Natalie Yoder served as horticultural advisors on the project and helped harvest its bounty in late August.

rockiesgarden3“We wanted to go with the theme of the Colorado Rockies and their color, so we chose flowering plants as well as herbs, like chives, that have purple flowers,” Uchanski said. “Some things like basil that are familiar in a green form, we chose the purple version, all to fit in with that overall color scheme that you see around the stadium.”

Miracle-Gro donated its Nature’s Care line of products for the garden, as well as other pest management products used in certified organic gardening.

The 600-square-foot GaRden mimics a baseball stadium, with raised beds terracing upwards from the GaRden’s “infield” to the outfield to the stands. It promotes beneficial garden ecosystem functions, and provides Aramark with herbs and vegetables for use in Coors Field’s Mountain Ranch Club menu and build-your-own salad station.

Sustainable features include raised beds built from beetle-kill pinewood, organic soil and irrigation drip lines made from recycled materials.

The Institute for the Built Environment is located in CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is in CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences.