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JetBlue Opens Urban Farm at JFK Airport to Feed Passengers and Local Food Banks

Food

You might know of farm-to-table, but JetBlue could one day take this concept into cruising altitude. Call it farm-to-tray-table, if you will.

JetBlue's Terminal 5 (T5) at New York's John F. Kennedy is now home to a 24,000 square-foot farm that will provide a variety of fresh produce for the terminal's restaurants and to local food banks. 

According to a report from the Associated Press, "the airline expects to grow 1,000 potato plants, yielding more than 1,000 pounds of spuds every four to six months, along with an additional 1,100 plants such as mint, arugula, beets, garlic, onions and spinach."

Unlike a traditional crop field, the produce at T5 grow in plastic milk crates inside a structure that's strong enough to withstand 160 mph hurricane-force winds, a requirement of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the AP reported.

The farm could potentially help supply some of JetBlue's signature Terra Chips if the conditions are right for growing the Adirondack blue potatoes used for the chips.

Interestingly, the airline initially wanted the T5 farm to grow crops to for home-brewed beer, but the airport did not approve of growing anything that might attract wildlife, which means no tomatoes, corn, berries, seeds or sunflowers.

The farm is currently closed to the public but will be opened as a learning space for local students in the Spring pending approval. The airline plans to eventually open the farm to other visitors who sign up in advance.

This is not the first time JetBlue brought some green space to an otherwise concrete-laden building. Over the summer, T5 opened a 4,046-square-foot green roof that's open to passengers and even their pets.

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