Before coming to Australia I had never seen an honesty box. It is a system where farmers leave out produce for sale, relying on the passing consumer to pay for the goods by dropping money in a tin or a box. Nobody supervises the transaction, so it is up to the consumer to be “honest” with their payment.
There is a certain old fashioned simplicity to the process. Firstly, I know the produce is locally grown and, secondly, my money is going direct to the grower which also means the prices are very reasonable.
Plus there is the surprise element to what I might find at a roadside stall; the things on sale are only those in season, unlike the supermarkets.
Among the produce I’ve bought from local roadside stalls with honesty boxes are: avocados, watermelons, blueberries, lemons, stone fruit, potatoes, macadamia nuts, honey, cut flowers, herbs…the list is endless.
What I love most is the sense of community inherent in the honesty-box system. When I pull over and select to buy local fruit and vegetables or nuts, it feels good to know I am giving to a local grower, and being fed and made happy in return. As well as the treasure I have just found by the side of the road, I feel grateful for the trust and generosity shown by the appearance of an honesty box stall.