JFK is quickly becoming a destination for more than flights, as in recent years the airport is opening up more dining options.
But on Thursday a new concept in airport food lands at the international hub — one that has never been seen at any one in the world — a blue potato farm.
The farm and its accompanying produce garden will be located in JFK’s Terminal 5 and aims to promote local agriculture and provide more green space for JetBlue customers.
“An airport seems like an unexpected place for a farming experiment, but what better way to explore our role in the food cycle than to harvest right in our own backyard at JFK,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability for JetBlue in statement. “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.”
But why blue potatoes?
The unique vegetable is not only the same color as the discount airline, but are also used in TERRA Blues, a variety of TERRA Real Vegetable Chips. Those chips are available for free on every JetBlue flight, and have been the official snack of the airline since it launched.
The 24,000-square-foot farm will feature 3,000 crates of potato plants, and is expected to grow more than 1,000 pounds of blue potatoes per harvest. It will also contain 2,000 herbs and plants, including arugula, beets, mint and basil. The farm is additionally a collaboration between GrowNYC Partners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to highlight local farmers, and through the selection of plants will deter bird and other wildlife coming to the area.
For passengers, the green space is supposed to be more than something to gawk at during their travels. The idea is to bring fresh ingredients to the terminal's eateries, and eventually for the blue potatoes to reach JetBlue’s bags of chips. Items from the farm will also be donated to local food pantries.
"Now, through the T5 Farm, we are pleased to bring a farm-to-flight experience closer to travelers,” said Jared Simon, senior director of marketing for TERRA’s parent company, Hain Celestial.