More cities should try out this floating apple orchard thing New York's got going on.

New York City isn't exactly known for its plethora of free space. So how'd an apple orchard just ... appear?

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

While land might be at a premium, it turns out there's plenty of space in the East River.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.


Established in 2016 by artist Mary Mattingly, this awesome garden is built on top of an old construction barge.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.

The project, known as "Swale," was sponsored by two nonprofits, the New York Foundation for the Arts and A Blade of Grass. The new orchard is a partnership with Strongbow Cider.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

Instead of hauling sand to construction sites, the barge now gives New Yorkers a chance to pick their own food.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

For the rest of the summer, it'll be hanging out in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan.

Visitors can forage for fruits, vegetables, and apparently, pianos.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

The farm has a garden, aquaponics area, and an apple orchard. It's open to the public, though people might have to wait their turn to board, and it also includes workshops and edible/medicinal plant tours.

Photo courtesy of Swale/Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Strongbow.

Swale’s free for people who visit.

It's about challenging our notions of where we grow food.

Image from Reuters/Carlo Allegri.

"At its heart, Swale is a call to action," said Mattingly on the project's website. "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."

A lot of us have no idea where our food actually comes from, especially if we live in a city.

We don't see the costs either: the farmer's time, the gas it took to drive it here, the packaging it came in — these are largely invisible.

By putting the garden front and center, Swale hopes to make people rethink how our cities eat.

Learn more about the project in the a video of the project below:

Most Shared