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Remember when farm-to-table was cool? Then farm-to-fork became the buzz word of the moment. Well, the latest agricultural craze is the farm-to-flight concept. This is thanks to JetBlue and its new urban farm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport.
The airline, known for serving passengers complimentary bags of blue potato chips, is growing the same variety of potato on a concrete lot located in Terminal 5.
Here are the details according to a company press release:
"The 24,000 square foot farm will feature 3,000 crates of potato plants, herbs and other produce. It will highlight local farmers and New York's agriculture and is expected to grow more than 1,000 pounds of blue potatoes per harvest, as well as house 2,000 herbs and plants including a variety of produce such as arugula, beets, mint and basil. It is the first blue potato farm in the world at an airport. In collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the other plants being grown on the T5 Farm were carefully selected to deter bird and other wildlife coming to the area...
Food grown at the T5 Farm completes the full cycle of food production. In partnership with Air Ventures and Royal Waste Services, JetBlue composts many leftovers from select restaurants in T5. Air Ventures and Royal Waste Services haul nearly 300 pounds of food waste each day for composting at McEnroe Organic Farm in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Earlier this year, the nutrient rich, organic soil from the farm was then transported to the T5 Farm to grow potatoes and produce."
So what does the company plan on doing with the produce?
The blue potatoes won't make it into a bag of chips anytime soon but they will eventually. In the meantime, the harvest will be used in some of the terminal's restaurants while the urban farm serves as an "educational resource" for the community.
"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," Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue's head of sustainability, said in a statement.