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Pick free produce from a public floating forest this summer

Written by
Jennifer Picht

For those who want to break bad habits and become more eco-conscious, “green” is the word. Whereas, if you’re only interested in avoiding expensive groceries from Whole Foods, “free food” is a two-word phrase that you (and everyone else) can get behind.

Thanks to a mammoth-size art installation by the creative and innovative organizers from Swale, you get to experience both worlds. That’s right, you can discover the joys of sustainable living while nabbing fresh—and free—produce, and totally avoid the dirty work.  

Recommended: Earth Day in NYC 

Swale’s project is coming to NYC in June via a “floating food forest,” which contains perennial plants (herbs, asparagus, swiss chard, fruit trees with persimmons) that grow on an 80-foot-long barge (a wetland structure), which uses filtered water from the New York Harbor.  

We asked the artist Mary Mattingly for a statement and she says, “The questions we really want to ask are almost utopian: What if healthy, fresh food could be a free public service, and not just an expensive commodity?”

According to DNAinfo, garden-goers will be able to hop on the barge at Governors Island, ogle the majestic greens and pick whatever produce they please. The barge will also head to Brooklyn Bridge Park and The Bronx this summer.

“We want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh, perennially-grown food as a commons too. We believe that the more people are looking after common spaces, the more those spaces look after us,” says Mattingly.

Oh, we’ll be looking out for it. 

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