If people can’t get to a neighborhood garden, this group promises to bring the garden to them.
A project called Swale has built an “edible forrest” on an 80-foot barge that will cruise around New York City to let people pick their own fruits and vegetables for free.
Partially an art installation, the Swale barge urban garden will use New York’s waterways to deliver nutritious food to the city’s food deserts, with scheduled stops through the summer at different docks around the city. People will be encouraged to step aboard and harvest fresh produce for their kitchens.
More than 80 species of trees, plants, and herbs grow on the barge — ranging from apples to arugula to yams — and it’s designed to give people a taste of what urban gardening can accomplish.
America’s seen a bumper crop of urban farms in recent years from rooftop gardens in Brooklyn to a business developer guaranteeing a permanent place for people to till the land in St. Louis, Missouri. Even prisons and homeless shelters have turned to urban farming techniques to grow their own food and teach people useful skills.
Swale plans to launch an IndieGoGo campaign to keep the garden barge project afloat through the summer.
“We want to show that healthy, fresh food can be a free public service,” Swale creator Mary Mattingly told Tech Insider, “not just an expensive commodity, and something that for not much work and effort, a city could supply.”
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