Strongbow / Swale NY
At CloudFactory Sandrine Huijgen, Jessica Kersten, Olivier Teepe and I helped create SWALE: THE FLOATING ORCHARD
Imagine taking a single step from the city concrete and planting your bare foot onto spongy grass with rolling hills topped by lush apple trees and ripe fruit for the picking. Sound like a dream? Well, that’s where it started; one nature dreamer’s big idea to take action against the lack of nature in urban people’s lives. Now it’s real and floating around the Big Apple, inspiring New Yorkers with an unexpected dose of nature. All aboard Swale: our floating apple orchard Nature Remix in the heart of New York City.
As you can imagine, the idea of creating a floating edible food forest to provide free fresh food, and a desperately needed patch of nature for New Yorkers, seems pretty far-fetched. But Mary Mattingly only thinks big. That’s why Strongbow collaborated with her and her team of artists, conservationists, landscapers and big dreamers, to help transform a barren barge into a floating orchard. The Swale, with its perennial gardens, welcomes visitors to harvest fruits and vegetables for free, and to rethink big cities’ connection with the environment.
On board of Swale, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve been transplanted into a green utopia. You can thank Monsieur Plant for that! A piano grows from the side of a hill, exploding with colorful flowers and key made of bark. Shoes that seem as if they’ve been kicked off by their owners and forgotten in the bliss of nature now burst with color as new homes for wildflowers. He’s the artist with a green vision whose collaboration on Swale helped it grow into a vision as beautiful as the idea.
Refreshing people with the energy of nature is at the core of Nature Remix. That’s why Swale felt like a natural fit for Strongbow Apple Ciders, and a project ripe for remixing. So, we put our green thumbs to work digging, planting, transforming a boring old barge into a lush apple orchard, to bring a little bit of nature, fresh fruit and cider to docks across Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Look out New York, you’re getting a well-deserved Nature Remix!
You can visit Swale in New York City, Open May 3rd till November 12th 2017. Join and Follow the journey.

Director: Daniël Nogueira
Production company:  New Ams
DOP: Paul Ozgür
Sound:  Ambassadors Sound – Amsterdam
Photography:  Olivier Teepe