A field trip to Swale, NYC’s foraging barge

We posted last year about Swale, an edible forest on a barge. This year they are docked at Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal (specifically Pier 4 at 58th Street) through August 1st. They can also be found weekends on Governors Island.

Last month a few farmers went to attend a workshop on medicinal plants led by Marisa Prefer. We got a guided foraging tour of various plants and their benefits, which was of course fully interactive with plenty of tasting and exploring around the 5,000 sq foot barge.

Swale is a great spot to visit, but even more inspiring is the effect that the project has had on public policy. The NYC Parks Department has a strict rules against foraging in its parks, but Swale has proved to be a test case for how foraging could work on public land. This year the Foodway at Concrete Plant Park opened, near Swale’s first dock home in the Bronx.

See also this great short video BRIC TV produced about the project that includes an interview with founder Mary Mattingly as well as Marisa and Amanda McDonald Crowley.

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