‘swale’ is a mobile, floating food forest founded by artist mary mattingly. conceived as an experiential artwork, the initiative seeks to promote public access to fresh and organic food within the urban context of new york city. the project has been constructed on a 40×130-foot (12×40-meter) flat deck barge that features a main and a second emergency gangway entrance, railings, walkways, and an edible forest garden that uses rainwater and purified, desalinated river water.

swale floating farm
‘swale’ seeks to reinforce the idea that water is a basic human right
image courtesy of strongbow / video courtesy of a blade of grass

 

 

the food barge — which first stopped at concrete plant park in the bronx, before making its way to several piers throughout NYC’s harbor — is supported by a blade of grass, an organization that promotes socially engaged art. mary mattingly’s design is structured as a floating island for community activities and artistic events, as well as a wide range of eco-initiatives. the project has also been documented in a new video by FIELDWORKS, a short documentary series from a blade of grass.

swale floating farm
the floating farm cleans and utilizes 55 gallons of river water each day

 

 

during public hours, when ‘swale’ is open free of charge, visitors are encouraged to pick fresh produce including raspberries, artichokes, and other perennially grown food sources. the floating farm cleans and utilizes 55 gallons of river water each day in order to augment a rainwater collection system and aid plant growth. ‘swale’ seeks to reinforce the idea that water is a basic human right, and intends to initiate debate about whether fresh food can be granted the same distinction.

swale floating farm
the initiative seeks to promote public access to fresh, organic food

 

 

we’re proud to support mary mattingly’s swale project,’ says deborah fisher, founding executive director of a blade of grass. ‘she is an artist who is changing what art is, who it’s for, and what it does. a blade of grass nurtures artists like mary in a way that is specifically geared toward increasing the effectiveness and visibility of their work, and understanding its value within a larger culture.’

swale floating farm
an aerial view of the 40×130-foot (12×40-meter) flat deck barge
image courtesy of a blade of grass

 

 

this summer ‘swale’ is partnering with strongbow to transform the barge into a floating apple orchard. as part of the cider company’s ‘nature remix’ campaign, ‘swale’ opened at pier 6 in brooklyn bridge park on may 3, 2017.

 

 

strongbow is relaunching the barge as part of its ‘nature remix’ campaign
video courtesy of strongbow

swale floating farm
visitors are encouraged to pick fresh produce
image courtesy of a blade of grass

swale floating farm
the barge previously stopped at concrete plant park in the bronx
image courtesy of a blade of grass

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    video news