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Norf’k Island Life – Roadside Stalls

For a relatively small geographic area, Norfolk Island is criss crossed with quite an extensive road network.  They’re not particularly well maintained but are certainly well travelled and provide a mutual opportunity for locals and tourists alike in the form of road side produce stalls. NI is blessed with volcanic soil, a mild climate, sufficient rain and warming trade winds. The temperature rarely drops below 10c nor climbs above 28c, making it perfect for growing a huge range of fruit and veges.Like all good home gardens, there are times of glut when the family just can’t take another jar of porpeih jeli (guava jelly) or bowl of pumpken (pumpkin) soup. So, the excess goes on to the road side stall with an honesty box, for passing tourists and locals. This is just as well, as the prices in the supermarket are not for the faint hearted given anything not grown on the island must be shipped from Australia or NZ. How does $2.95 for a tin of tomatoes sound? Many shops in town also have a small selection in their doorway including the local servo and electrical store. As almost all accommodation on NI is self catering, there is plenty of opportunity to get creative and make simple, fresh meals from the local produce.Honesty box 3Fruit has a decidedly tropical vibe due to the climate and location in the South Pacific. During our visit in March, persimmons, Feijoa, Tahitian limes and avocados were abundant. At other times of the year there are watermelons, rockmelons, citrus, loquat, pears and strawberries. Bananas are available all year around. Arriving with the Polynesians over 800 years ago, the trees are dotted all over the island and were one of the first things spotted by Captain Cook when he re-discovered the island in 1774. They look like Lady Fingers but are in fact tiny Cavendish – nothing like the mega bananas grown for supermarkets.
Honesty box 1There are plenty of veges to be had as well. We enjoyed small eggplants, a bag of freshly picked rocket (a bonus as lettuce and salad in the supermarket started at $5 a serve), cucumbers, shallots (Spring onions) and capsicums. The list goes on and given that the NI is virtually pest and disease free, almost all produce on the island is organic. Of course, you can’t get everything you need from roadside stall but you can get enough and it ensures they money stays in the local economy. 
Honesty box 2Road side stalls and honesty boxes, a lovely old fashioned concept that has disappeared from most of our modern lives but still thriving on Norfolk Island.

Island fruits

Genuine Norfolk Bounty

4 comments… add one
  • Francesca July 26, 2014, 10:00 am

    I have never been to Norfolk Island. It sounds quaint and old fashioned. Honesty boxes are wonderful things in the country.

    • Fiona Ryan July 26, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Hi Francesca – yes, it’s very quaint. I suppose it helps that there are quite a few of these boxes and if anyone steals, they are stealing from the community. It’s not cheap to go to NI but we got a great deal with airfare, accom and car so it was a wonderful week. Highly recommened if you want to take a week out of teh rate race (no internet or phone to speak of).

  • Lizzy (Good Things) July 26, 2014, 11:06 am

    Such a deliciously interesting and informative post!

    • Fiona Ryan July 26, 2014, 1:18 pm

      Thanks Liz. You still see the honesty boxes here but they are rare now, aren’t they?

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