Swale, New York, forest, food, floating
Credit: Courtesy of Swale

If you’re a city dweller who can’t make your way out to the country to pick fresh produce, a new project in New York City will bring the farm to you via boat. Described as a “floating food forest,” it’s part legit farm and part art project, all peppered with a bit of far out thinking.

Scheduled to set sail this summer, Swale New York plans to be a fully-operational food forest growing on an 80-foot by 30-foot barge constructed out of shipping containers. On their website, the group behind Swale, which is funded by a mix organizations and individual donors, says the project will function “as both a sculpture and a tool” providing “free healthy food at the intersection of public art and service.”

If the operation works as planned, around 300 people a day will be able to pick freshly grown foods like beets, asparagus, kale, chard, raspberries, huckleberries, arugula, leeks or artichokes on the barge, but organizers say it’s also “dedicated to rethinking and challenging New York City's connection to our environment.” The whole project has also taken a heavy dose of engineering, including figuring out how to desalinate and purify water sourced from the city’s not so clean waterways.

According to Gizmag, Swale is hoping to launch in June, making stops at a number of different NYC piers for about a month at a time beginning in New Rochelle before hitting Concrete Plant Park, Governor’s Island, Pier 36, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Navy Terminal, and then wrapping up at Staten Island’s Homeport in November.