Honest way to make a living

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Carnarvon organic grower Chris Armstrong has raised the bar for the honesty box system of selling fruit and vegetables along the roadside.

Forget the humble table and umbrella, at Homestay Plantation there is a solar-powered refrigerated cool room, complete with doors, just like at the supermarket.

It's been a fixture at the plantation for the past two years and is one of 14 stops on the Carnarvon leg of the Gascoyne Food Trail.

Chris came up with the idea when she wanted to make her stall bigger.

Along with husband Kim McGowan, they just had to cut out some holes and put in a couple of glass doors to a refrigerated cool room they already had on hand.

A bigger space means they can offer customers a greater range of organic fruit and vegetables and value-added products.

And by refrigerating the produce, Chris says it has a longer shelf life because it's away from the sun and also reduces wastage.

"At the moment, I have got about three or four lines but in June or July, I will have 10 or 12 different things," she said.

It could possibly be the most fancy honesty box set up in the State and is open 24 hours, seven days a week.

"I've never really had that many comments about it but people must have some respect because they have a bit of a look first before they open the door," Chris said.

Despite the odd piece of fruit going missing now and then, Chris says the honesty box system is working well.

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