Fancy bananas with your electricals?

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Sharon, our host, weaves the car into an electrical shop, pops some spare change into the honesty box and picks up some chunky bananas. Also for sale are potatoes, rockmelon and capsicum, should you fancy a rockmelon with your hairdryer.

It is all part of the organics scene here on Norfolk Island, though for islanders it is not part of any trendy scene. It is a way of life.

Norfolk Island produces its own eggs and free-range chicken, runs cattle and grows potatoes, capsicums, hot-house tomatoes, as well as bananas, beetroot and greens such as lettuce, celery, leeks and cucumbers. It has its own coffee plantation, liquor distillery and a winery, which hopes to yield a vintage in a few years. At just 8km long, food miles is measured, not so much in miles, but in some cases, metres.

The early settlers, the Pitcairners, brought with them a south seas flavour and a Tahitian taste for kumera, rich gravies and coconut cream pie, which you will see on menus today.

Plus did I mention fish? Trumpeter and red coral are prolific and clubs and restaurants will often advertise if they have a fresh haul of fish just in.

But Norfolk is not all farm produce, food metres and organics. Being an island, everything not produced there is flown in and that costs.

Take lemons, for example. Lemons are not grown on the island and are not flown in either as they are deemed too expensive to freight. So lemon juice bottles are squirted onto fish, rather than fresh lemons we take for granted on the mainland. Ditto milk – the island is addicted to UHT rather than pay $6 a bottle. Despite the cow supply, pasteurisation plant is too expensive for the island’s farmers.

There are over 30 eateries on the island from the RSL (highly recommended) to cafes (cafe Tempo is my pick) to bars (Rumours set in an old colonial home is my fave) to full-blown restaurants. Colony Chinese Restaurant uses local ingredients from the garden as does Norfolk Blue, which advertises its 1km food mile credentials from its own cows.

Norfolk’s economic situation may be not the best, but at least they eat well and if you visit, you will too!

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