An 80-foot-long barge filled with an actual forest of free, edible plants and fruits will soon be floating around New York City.
The massive project, called Swale, is both an art installation and a means to provide complimentary fresh greens to New Yorkers, organizers said.
"Functioning as both a sculpture and a tool, Swale provides free healthy public food at the intersection of public art and service," organizers wrote on their website.
The barge will grow dozens of edible plants, including herbs like rosemary and thyme, greens such as asparagus, scallions, swiss chard, radicchio, wild leeks and even some fruit trees with persimmons.
Rendering courtesy of Swale
Plants grow on the float by creating something of a wetlands structure, using filtered water from New York Harbor. The name Swale means lowland marsh.
The plan is to first dock off of Governors Island in June and then head to Brooklyn Bridge Park and eventually to The Bronx.
Visitors will be able to walk through the greenery and pick whatever they please. The barge will also host music and arts events.
“We want to ask, what if healthy free food could be a public service instead of an expensive commodity?” Mary Mattingly, the artist behind the project, told Brooklyn Based, which first reported the float.
“We see this as a step towards policy change in the city, where on most public land it’s still illegal to grow public, free food, and believe that the benefits outweigh all potential risks that have deterred the city from planting edible perennial plants as part of the urban infrastructure."
The artist, who's using the help of Stuyvesant High School students to build her vision, has secured some funding through nonprofit group Blade of Grass and is currently raising additional money with an Indiegogo fundraiser, aiming for $20,000.
Mattingly hopes to launch on June 28, according to Brooklyn Based.