John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York will be home to a farm, thanks to JetBlue Airways and their partnership with GrowNYC. The airline is using 24,000 square feet of the area outside Terminal 5 “to educate travelers more than actually feed them,â€ť CBS New York reports, with the goal being teaching individuals about farming while also making the terminal more aesthetically pleasing.
“We know people like green space. Itâ€™s what they have at home. Why not put that at an airport if thatâ€™s what they love and want?â€ť Sophia Leonora Mendelsohn, JetBlueâ€™s head of sustainability told CBS New York. “Your flying experience starts on the ground.â€ť
Even though the farm will be mostly educational at first with school trips planned, JetBlue does plan on eventually serving the items grown there to its passengers. Itâ€™s been reported that the blue potato chips JetBlue serves on its flights will be made from potatoes grown on the new farm. The farmâ€”which took three years to get approvedâ€”will also grow carrots, basil and chives as well as other plants the airport deems safe. Nothing can be grown there that will attract birds. In addition, the farm structure was designed to withstand strong winds of 160 mph.
The farm will be closed to the public for the first few months, then the hope is to attract educational groups and passengers to come check it out. Besides eventually becoming JetBlueâ€™s Terra Chips, the produce and herbs grown on the farm will be used at restaurants in the terminal as well as local food banks, CBS New York reports.