You've heard of farm-to-table but how about farm-to-terminal? Made up of 5,000 stacked milk crates planted with flourishing vegetables, herbs and blue potatoes, JetBlue's 24,000-square-foot T5 Farm at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York is the first of its kind in the world. Inhabitat recently had a chance to sneak a peek inside what is truly a "departure" from the traditional farm. Read on to check out our video and photos below.
JetBlue launched the T5 Farm in 2015 as an experiment in urban farming that pushes the boundaries of the local food movement.
“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 back yard at JFK?” said Sophia Mendelsohn, JetBlue’s head of sustainability.
The sprawling space is located at Terminal 5 right outside of the departures lobby.
Planted in collaboration with NYC nonprofit GrowNYC, the farm is made up of 3,000 crates of the airline’s signature blue potato plants and 2,000 crates filled with veggies and herbs ranging from mint to lettuce to basil to kohlrabi.
How many other farms overlook an architectural landmark like Eero Saarinen‘s TWA Flight Center?
While the farm grows a large variety of species, special care was taken to exclude berries and other plants that could attract birds and other wildlife that could pose a danger to departing aircraft.
The plants are grown in organic soil composted of food waste that was actually collected from Terminal 5 and made into compost at McEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton, NY.
The black milk crates that house the crops were made in New Jersey using recycled plastic.
We were a bit disappointed to learn that the veggies and herbs grown at the farm are currently not served on JetBlue flights or at Terminal 5, but the airline says they are aiming to eventually reach that goal. Currently, a portion of the harvest is donated to local food pantries and to TERRA Chips, which makes the blue potato chips served on JetBlue flights, for research and development of new flavors.
The T5 Farm is not open to the public, but hopefully we’ll be able to sample some of the tasty food grown there at Terminal 5 and on JetBlue flights in the near future.
Photos: Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat NYC