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The Honesty Box


Words by Kirra Pendergast : Photos by Ailsa Pennefather

In an area where we have fallen madly in love with farmers markets, and local produce, I have spent many years cruising the country lanes of Coorabell, Eureka, Bangalow and Newrybar (usually with my mum in tow), putting my money in honesty boxes. I feel by supporting the honesty box tradition I can still show my son how things used to be and how things most certainly should be; a community of people that can trust one another. So Ailsa Pennefather and I decided early this cold overcast morning in June, to take a trip through the hinterland, and see what is available in our local honesty boxes during winter.

First we set off through Newrybar, and stopped at one of my favourite places Harvest Cafe, where Tristen, Dane, Demetri and the rest of the team greeted us with warm smiles, hot coffee, a lounge in front of an open fire, and the smell of fresh sour dough baked on site. We left warm and content with a 2kg sour dough and a fruit loaf that were still warm (the fruit loaf was half gone by the time we got home).

We headed up through the hills behind Newrybar along Friday Hut Road, Coolamon Scenic Drive, through Federal, Eureka and back through Bangalow. Most people grow enough to furnish just their own tables, plus some additional for family and friends, but there are a handful of local vegie growing geniuses that have taken their little plots and patches to dizzy heights, and have enough surplus vegetables to place in a broken down box outside the front gate, available to anyone who might happen to pass by and show a little honesty. We discovered so much citrus fruit that my juicer will be having a serious workout over the next few days. Pumpkins, Sweet Potato, and other bits and piece’s still in abundant supply.

So, do yourself a “flavour”, take off for an hour or so, and find the magic and abundance that the good old ‘Honesty Box’ still has.

For more about “thinking locally” visit:

Kirra Pendergast is the editor of Common Ground Australia. An award winning photographer, Kirra first picked up a camera at 12yrs old. Her photography has been widely published in everything from international newspapers through to Rolling Stone Magazine (which was a major bucket list tick) Kirra is always out capturing photographs of things as varied as the immense power and beauty of the ocean, storms, and the breathtaking landscapes of Northern NSW. Kirra's photographic passion is music, portraiture and street photography. Born and raised in Byron Bay, Kirra's family has spent generations in the Northern Rivers hailing from Lismore, Tuntable Falls, Tregagle and Byron Bay. Kirra is passionate about supporting local music, creatives, the arts and local business using Common Ground as a platform to promote this place, its people and their passion.


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