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The Swale Ship is a floating abundance of food located in New York that serves as a model for interested parties to learn about the importance of sustainability and resource management. Not everything that floats is edible, but a boat carrying a small farm with a water filtration system on its back can serve as a shining example of urban agriculture.
This floating farm teaches children, as well as adults, what “self-sufficiency” and “self-sustainability” are, since the deck is used to grow food and herbs, and there are trees that make this ecosystem a “floating food forest.” There are about 500 plant species on board and about 465 square feet of surface area. The most frequent visitors are children from the city who come on board to learn more about plants and gardening, as well as alternative solutions for getting to clean water.
Swale members say the Bronx is a “food desert”, so people must devise creative ways to help locals sustainably grow their food. When citizens find out that they can pick something up and that it is free, they are shocked first, and then ask what they can pick up and what they can use, or how to eat them. When the initial surprise passes, they begin to remember that these plants are consumed daily, for example with mozzarella.
About 50 tons of earth, 100,000 pounds of gravel and 30,000 pounds of volcanic rock were used to build this floating farm. The farm moves around New York and stops at various locations throughout the summer, making the oasis and educational space accessible to all.
Although at first glance it may seem like a solution to the apocalypse and zombie hordes, this floating garden could serve as a model for similar ecosystems around the world, especially in cities along the banks of large rivers.