Courtesy of JetBlue
Amy McKeever

New York City’s newest potato farm has cropped up in a most unlikely locale: Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Yesterday, JetBlue Airways unveiled plans to grow blue potatoes, arugula, basil, mint, beets, and more on the T5 Farm, a 24,000-square-foot tract of outdoor land located pre-security in the airline’s flagship terminal. Sophia Mendelsohn, the airline’s director of sustainability, stated in a press release that the goal of the farm is “to explore JetBlue's role in the food cycle” as well as create some additional green space in the terminal.

Why blue potatoes?  Well, the T5 Farm has been created in partnership with TERRA Real Vegetable Chips, makers of the blue potato chip snacks JetBlue gives out on flights. The idea is that some of these potatoes might eventually become used for the chips, and therefore highlighting the food cycle for air travelers in the process. Beyond that, JetBlue says some of the restaurants in Terminal 5 will also have access to the farm’s harvest of herbs and produce, and other items will be donated to local food pantries.

The hope is to grow 1,000 pounds of potatoes each harvest, as well as 2,000 herbs and plants, according to JetBlue. And, just in case you were worried about deer crashing the gate at security, these herbs and plants were chosen for planting because they won’t attract birds and wildlife. They’re also mean to highlight New York State agriculture.

This isn’t JetBlue’s first attempt at making Terminal 5 a greener space for fliers. The T5 Farm announcement comes on the heels of this summer’s launch of JetBlue’s landscaped (and pet-friendly) rooftop lounge at Terminal 5, complete with outdoor seating for 50 people and even a playspace for children. That’s a trend worth continuing.

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