What if healthy, fresh food could be a free public service, and not just an expensive commodity? That’s the question we really want to ask with Swale.
Swale is a public floating food forest. In 2016 in New York City people will be able to visit a barge containing edible, perennial plants. We want to reinforce water as a commons, and work towards fresh food as a commons too.
Swale is a large collaboration. It’s made of many different groups and individuals. Many artists are involved, including Karla Stinger-Stein, who is focusing on the art of partnership building with nurseries. Casey Tang is collaborating on Swale, he’s designing the entire surface area of Swale to be an edible living system. Artist Marisa Prefer is leading Swale's education programming.
Swale is working on several different fronts at the same time.
1. We are co-creating a floating food forest.
2. We are working with community groups in each place we are able to dock, to establish permanent food forests on NYC's public land.
3. We are working towards galvanizing enough support to advocate for policy change; for a city where public food is incorporated into the urban plan.
A Brief History.
In 2009 in New York City, I led a project called Waterpod. On a 100' x 30' deck barge, five people lived and worked for six months. We ate food from the Waterpod's gardens, used solar energy, and purified rainwater. Over 200,000 people visited the Waterpod. During that time, I learned so much from people who visited, from how to better care for the ecosystem to how to work towards projects with a lasting impact.
In 2014, I was able to purchase a vessel through a grant from the Knight Foundation to create WetLand - an ecosystem (that supplies food, water, and shelter) and residency space on the water in Philadelphia. Everyone who helped transform that vessel into WetLand became a co-owner. Because it is a permanent, long-term public space, we invite other groups to utilize it. It is currently being looked after by students at the University of Pennsylvania to house their new Environmental Humanities efforts.
What We Need & What You Get
Interested in being a sponsor? Every supporter, whether through monetary donation or in-kind support, is invited to evaluate the project and have a voice in the decision making process for Swale's future. Currently, through the help of A Blade of Grass as well as individual donors, we have raised half of the money we need to complete this project! With the success of this campaign, we will be ready to launch!
$5 Matters! Please have the knowledge that you have helped an art project that is going to facilitate change. We send you our utmost thanks and appreciation, and will celebrate you on our website's Community page!
$25 Earth Sponsor would buy us 40lbs of organic soil (up to fifty). We will send you an original poem with a photo of Swale during construction, and thank you on our website's Thank You page!
$50 Seed Sponsor supports a purchase of 10,000 organic perennial seeds (up to twenty). We will send you a plant from Swale in a hand made planter, and of course you will be thanked on our website.
$60 NEW!! Ecosystem Sponsor supports the harvesting, packaging, and donation of 30 packages of seeds from plants grown on Swale (up to twenty five). We will send you five packages of different seeds harvested from Swale, a set of hand made planters, and add you to our Thank You page!
$100 Tree Sponsor will buy us one fruit tree (twenty needed). We will send you an 11" x 14" signed print of a tree made from paper created on Swale, and do an interview with you for our blog.
$500 Education Sponsor supports educational workshops on Swale, open to the public. (up to ten). Your name will become part of the sculpture. Co-design the sculpture with us! We will grow your favorite plant on Swale.
$250 Food Action Sponsor supports our outreach and advocacy work around public food. (fifteen needed). Your name will become part of the sculpture, and we will host a private dinner for two on Swale.
$700 Wetland Sponsor supports an entire constructed wetland module for Swale. (seven needed). Your name will become part of the sculpture. Co-design the sculpture with us! We will grow your favorite wetland plant on Swale.
$1000 Food Forest Sponsor supports a permanent public perennial food forest on land in NYC. (ten needed). Wow! You've helped support a permanent food forest on NYC's land. You've made our worlds cleaner, richer, and healthier! Your name will become part of the sculpture. You and three friends are invited to a private picnic on Swale prepared by a well-known chef with foods grown onboard. We will also send you a 20" x 24" signed print from paper created on Swale.
$2000 Solar Energy Sponsor supports Swale's Entire solar energy system. (one needed) You've been a key supporter of Swale, allowed us to run pumps and lights off-grid! Your name will be featured on the sculpture, and the printed matter surrounding the project. You and three friends are invited to a private dinner on Swale. We will also send you a 20" x 24" signed print from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.
$2500 Water Sponsor supports Swale’s rainwater filtration system. (two needed) You have helped us create a viable ecosystem on Swale! Your name will be featured on the sculpture, and the printed matter surrounding the project. You and five friends are invited to a private dinner on Swale. We will also send you a 20" x 24" signed print from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.
$5000 Pure Swale supports the Floating Food Forest in New York City for an entire month. (six needed) You and three friends are invited to spend the night on Swale with a breakfast made from foods grown onboard, and we will name a trail after you on Swale. We will send you a 20" x 24" signed print from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.
Other Ways You Can Help
We are eager to accept plant donations for Swale, especially edible or medicinal perennials! Please be in touch at SwaleProject@gmail.com
Swale in the News
Risks and challenges
This project is a giant undertaking. It involves many individuals, community groups, and agencies. Our core group has experience doing prior projects in New York's waterways, and we realize that some permit hurtles may delay the project. We understand the ins and outs and are confident that this project will launch on time, early summer 2016!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)