Airline operator JetBlue has opened a blue potato farm and produce garden in its dedicated terminal at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, USA.
The new Terminal 5 (T5) Farm was created in partnership with Terra Real Vegetable Chips, part of The Hain Celestial Group, and GrowNYC, an environmental non-profit organization that supports local agriculture and farmers.
Terra Real Vegetable Chips is the producer of JetBlue’s official snack Terra Blues chips, which are available for free on every flight. In 2014, JetBlue distributed more than 5.7 million bags of Terra Blues chips to passengers.
The 24,000ft² T5 Farm will be made from 3,000 crates of potato plants, herbs and vegetables, and will produce more than 1,000 lb of blue potatoes per harvest. The other produce includes arugula, beets, mint and basil, which have been specially selected by the airport operator, the Ports Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), so that they do not attract birds.
Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue, said, “An airport seems like an unexpected place for a farming experiment, but what better way to explore JetBlue’s role in the food cycle than to harvest right in our own back yard at JFK. Our customers expect T5 to offer them unique experiences. We know from our T5 Rooftop that people are drawn to light and green spaces, and they also have an inherent interest in understanding where their food comes from.”
Jared Simon, senior director of marketing, Hain Celestial, said, “Terra Blues are the perfect snack to complement the JetBlue mission to provide quality food during the travel experience. Now, through the T5 Farm, we are pleased to bring a farm-to-flight experience closer to travelers. We are proud to extend our partnership with JetBlue through this initiative, which highlights the journey that blue potatoes make as they become a delicious inflight snack.”
Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director, GrowNYC Partners, said, “JetBlue is New York’s hometown airline and what better way to showcase their New York pride than with a farm. Northeast farmers produce some of the freshest, healthiest, tastiest food in the world, which is already available inside T5, and now outside at the farm. It’s an opportunity for us to educate all the travelers about where food comes from in an exciting, non-traditional setting.”
Michael Moran, general manager of JFK, said, “Throughout aviation history, JFK Airport has been home to many firsts in environmental sustainability. We applaud JetBlue’s commitment to protecting the environment and for their green space initiative, marking another first for our airport.”