Leave it to New York to come up with a novel idea to promote sustainability — and what a great idea! It’s a barge filled with dirt and used for gardening!! It’s called Swale.
Swale’s founding artist Mary Mattingly says “At its heart, Swale is a call to action. It asks us to reconsider our food systems, to confirm our belief in food as a human right and to pave pathways to create public food in public space.”
Swale is free and open to the public. Right now it is docked at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Pier 4 at 58th Street in New York City, but it moves from time to time to other New York docks. It offers educational programs from the origin of plants to the preparation of the food for eating to what songs bird enjoy, and welcomes visitors to harvest the fruits, vegetables and herbs for free. “Swale strives to enhance the quality and responsible use of public waterways and land; working to encourage New Yorker’s to reconsider their relationship to their environment and ecology; and to change perceptions and policies to increase responsible uses of edible perennial landscapes.” (Swale)
This floating garden is teaching kids about sustainability…and it's amazing.
Posted by Mashable on Monday, January 22, 2018
Swale’s food forest is made up of native fruit trees and shrubs, leafy self-seeding annuals and salt loving grasses donated by the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, the New York City Parks Department and visitors. Its landscape design is inspired by edible forestry, permaculture, and salt-tolerant estuary ecosystems except for the chickens. Video courtesy of Mashable
Although they didn’t list all 500+/- plant species they grow, many of the common names listed on the Swale website included native plants. Let’s hope they are true native plants and not cultivars! This sounds like a wonderful opportunity to educate visitors about the benefit to our environment from using native plants!!
Thanks to my niece, Heather Bain, for bringing this very interesting story to my attention!