Last updated: 11:50 AM ET, Tue October 13 2015

Is JetBlue Branching Out into Agriculture?

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | October 13, 2015

Is JetBlue Branching Out into Agriculture?

JetBlue Airways has announced that it's teaming up with Terra Chips to open the world's first-ever blue potato airport farm at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The 24,000-square-foot "T5 Farm" will house up to 3,000 crates of plants producing potatoes, herbs and produce, including arugula, beets, mint and basil.

Located pre-security on the departures level of Terminal 5, the plan is for the farm to produce food items that will make their way into JetBlue plane cabins as well as some of Terminal 5's restaurants.

The farm will produce 1,000 pounds of blue potatoes per harvest, with the goal being for some of those potatoes to wind up in a bag of Terra Blues chips. For perspective, JetBlue distributed 5.7 million bags of Terra Blues across its fleet last year.

"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 backyard at JFK," JetBlue's head of sustainability Sophia Mendelsohn said in a statement. "Our customers expect T5 to offer them unique experiences."

While farms typically attract all sorts of insects and wildlife, that shouldn't be an issue at the T5 Farm as all of the plants selected will deter birds and other animals.

The unique operation, which is in collaboration with GrowNYC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, marks yet another first for the busy airport.

"Throughout aviation history, JFK Airport has been home to many firsts in environmental sustainability," said JFK general manager Michael Moran in a statement. "We applaud JetBlue's commitment to protecting the environment and for their green space initiative, marking another first for our airport."

In addition to providing a green space and meeting agricultural needs, JetBlue said the farm will serve as an educational resource for the community. 

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