Swale, New York’s first “floating food forest” housed on board an 80-foot long barge which provides free healthy plant-based edibles for visitors, is set to reopen the barge doors next month.
Swale is a collaborative floating food project dedicated to rethinking and challenging New York City residents’ relationship with the environment. The green island of Swale, which is currently moored along the Hudson River, features trees, garden, pebble walk ways, and even a disused piano that’s been used to keep bees.
Around 70% of the plants grown on the barge are edible, while the others serve to attract pollinators, including the bees, or keep pests way. Plant beds are recycled from water bladders (durable containers) used by the US Army.
In 2016, Swale hosted 60,000 visitors, 1,000 guided tours and 60 school groups. Some of the edibles found on board included bok choy, strawberries, blueberries, grape vines, cauliflower, broccoli, lemon essence, edible cactus, mint, zucchini, cantaloupe, and catnip…
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