AP file

The "Faithful Farm" will supply fruits, vegetables and herbs to stadium venders, and leftovers will be donated to charity.

By Mark J. Burns
September 12, 2016

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Levi’s Stadium, the winner of the 2015 SportsBusiness Journal award for Sports Facility of the Year and the home of the San Francisco 49ers, recently unveiled the first-ever rooftop farm on a professional sports arena.

The “Faithful Farm” is a vegetable and herb garden that will generate 150 pounds of produce per week, featuring nearly 40 rotating crops that will be used for dishes served in club spaces at the stadium in addition to 200-plus private events every year.

“We’re proud to reinforce Levi’s Stadium as an industry leader in environmental sustainability with the addition of the Faithful Farm,” Jim Mercurio, the 49ers vice president of stadium operations and general manager, said in a statement. “Our 27,000 square foot green roof successfully helps reduce heating and cooling requirements within our suite tower and carving out this small portion to grow crops for use in the stadium further minimizes our carbon footprint by reducing our reliance on outside food sources.”

Since July, the rooftop farm has been producing summer squash, herbs, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. Sitting atop the SAP Tower, the organic farm is managed by Farmscape, which is the largest urban farming venture in California.

“The ‘Faithful Farm’ represents the strongest commitment an NFL team has made to local, organic produce,” said Lara Hermanson, a founding principal at Farmscape. “The farm will educate the community on how many items can be grown in their own backyard, while providing local jobs and great food.”

Levi’s Stadium and Centerplate, the team’s hospitality partner, are collaborating with Hunger at Home and the Salvation Army to deliver unused prepared food to organizations who are in need. Vegetables and herbs from the Faithful Farm will also contribute to this initiative.

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