It's time to plant vegetables for the summer, and agriculture students at Sonoma Valley High School have found a unique place for a vegetable patch.
The high school’s agriculture program, headed by Dan Aschwanden, will provide starter plants for a new vegetable garden on the hillside at Sonoma Raceway, overlooking the track. The garden will begin with three 20-foot elevated garden beds, which will include tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, and other vegetables which will be served at select concessions stands on race days.
The project received tremendous support from several local groups, including the Sonoma Valley School Garden Project led by local writer and Sonoma resident, Kathleen Hill.
The raceway and students hosted a ceremonial ground breaking for the new Sonoma Raceway Garden on Tuesday, May 7. Located on a hillside just above the main paddock, the Raceway Garden will play a key role in the culinary profile of the raceway, while providing locally-grown produce for day-to-day catering and corporate events for Levy Restaurants, the on-site caterer.
The raceway and Levy Restaurants also unveiled its new concessions concept, the Sears Point Grill, which will serve fresh, locally-sourced foods, including lamb sausages and Niman Ranch beef hamburgers.
“This was a fun opportunity for us to introduce two new culinary concepts at the raceway," said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager.
"The Sears Point Grill is meant to evoke the appeal of a rural roadside diner and I know the fresh-off-the-grill burgers and other offerings are going to be a big hit with our fans.”
The raceway has introduced several environmentally-themed projects in recent years. Rows of wine grapes were planted near the administration offices and a herd of sheep maintains the grassy hillsides.
“And our raceway garden will soon be producing delicious fresh produce for our daily café menu and the variety of corporate events we host over the course of the year,” promised Page.