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A Floating Food Forest in New York City
A Floating Food Forest in New York City
333 backers pledged $32,523 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$32,523

333

SWALE

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

The Atlantic's CityLab

Hyperallergic

The Guardian

Smithsonian

Brooklyn Based

Time Out NY

Curbed

Working Forest

Tech Insider

Pop Up City

Inhabitat

Untapped Cities

Archpaper

Ecowatch

Treehugger

Business Insider

The Inertia

DNA Info

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!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    $5 Matters!  Please have the knowledge that you have helped an art project that is going to facilitate change. We will add your name to our Community page!

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    57 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    NEW!!! Root Sponsor is foremost, fundamental, and foundational! We will send you set of five blank photo postcards from Swale to use and share, and thank you on our community page.

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    Limited 25 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Earth Sponsor would buy us 40 pounds of organic soil (up to fifty). We will send you an original poem with a photo of Swale during construction, and add you to our Thank You page.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 76 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    NEW!!! Ecosystem Sponsor supports the harvesting, packaging, and donation of 20 packages of seeds from plants grown on Swale (up to twenty five). We will send you three packages of different seeds harvested from Swale, a hand made planter, and add you to our Thank You page!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $50 or more About $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 add you to our Thank You page!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    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!

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    NEW!! Perimeter Garden Bed Sponsor will allow us to construct one garden bed (thirty needed). We will send you an 8" x 10" mounted color photograph by Mary Mattingly (limited edition of 30) and a garden bed along Swale's perimeter will be named after you.

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    Limited 7 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Tree Sponsor will buy us one fruit tree (twenty needed). We will send you an 11" x 14" hand made seed paper created on Swale, and do an interview with you for our blog. Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 17 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    NEW!! Dream Together Supporters will receive a set of throw pillow cases made from fabric dyed with natural dyes from plants in a food forest in Hawaii by artist Katherine Peplinski Coffin. Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    NEW!! Medicinal Plant Sponsor supports medicinal plant educational resources available on Swale. You will receive an assortment of plant-based tinctures, used to aid healing various ailments. These remedies have been crafted with the sustainability of plants & people in mind, using plants that grow wild in Central Vermont & Brooklyn, NY. Plants included in these blends are st. john's wort, nettles, yellow dock, dandelion, yarrow, ginkgo, echinacea, violet, borage, red clover, plantain. This lot includes five 2 oz. tinctures created by non/studio (http://nonstudio.info) Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $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.

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    Limited 14 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    NEW!! Swale Waste Transformation supports art and community-based activities on Swale. Karla Stinger-Stein is creating a colossal coil of rope made from recycled plastic shopping bags and participation. Working with all ages from across the country, participants will collectively braid bags they gather into rope segments. Karla will join each segment to create the giant form. By working towards this common goal, her team will demonstrate how small actions have big consequences. This process explores how art can organize collective action to empower individuals and improve our world. As a result hundreds of individuals will divert thousands of plastic bags from landfills to touch many more with art. A $250 gift to Swale will help fund this activity and provide essential support towards Swale's operation. As a thank you, donors will receive a framed cutting from the final coil at the conclusion of Swale. Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    NEW!! Medicinal Plant Sponsor supports medicinal plant literature available on Swale. You will receive an herbal consultation culminating in a supply of plant-based tea blends or tinctures. Participate in a private consultation and receive recommendations on how to bring plant remedies into your life! Learn about sourcing, harvesting and blending plants to aid healing common mind/body ailments, and make your own tea blend or tincture. Conducted by non/studio. (http://nonstudio.info) Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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    Limited 1 backer
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    NEW!! Central Garden Bed Sponsor will allow us to construct one large garden bed in the center of Swale (six needed). We will send you a suite of four 8" x 10" mounted color photograph by Mary Mattingly (limited edition of 10) and a garden bed in the center of Swale will be named after you.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $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 edible plant on Swale.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 4 backers
    $
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    NEW!! Pollinator Sponsor will allow us to construct one pollinator garden (4 needed). We will send you a painting made of beeswax and earth on handmade khadi paper 8" x 8” mounted on 14 1/2" x 14 1/2” matt board by Swale collaborator Tessa Grundon Fievet and a pollinator garden will be named after you.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Wetland Sponsor supports an entire constructed wetland module for Swale. (seven needed). Co-design the sculpture with us! We will grow your favorite wetland plant on Swale. Your name will become part of the sculpture, and you will receive a 16" x 20" photograph of Swale signed by Mary Mattingly.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Food Forest Sponsor supports a permanent public perennial food forest on land in NYC. (ten needed). Wow! You've helped support a permanent food-based ecosystem 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 16" x 20" photograph of Swale signed by Mary Mattingly.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    NEW!! Dream Big Supporters will receive a queen sized hand made quilt, made from fabric dyed with natural dyes from plants in a food forest in Hawaii by artist Katherine Peplinski Coffin. Your name will become part of the sculpture.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    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 photograph by Mary Mattingly from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    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 photograph by Mary Mattingly from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    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 photograph by Mary Mattingly from paper created on Swale, and an 18" x 24" original sketch of Swale.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)