Shopping for food on Norfolk Island

Hello Dear Reader,

As I mentioned earlier, shopping for food on Norfolk Island is not for the faint hearted. Don't get me wrong, there is food to be had, you just need a bank loan before you go shopping. It's the price you pay for living on an island! There is one large and one smaller supermarket and just about every other business has some sort of food for sale. Even dress shops have a little stall out the front selling home grown and homemade produce. The most sort after groceries are of course fresh fruit and vegetables.

We were super excited to buy a bunch of silverbeet 

We were able to buy bananas, oranges, mandarines and cherry guava for fruit and for vegetables we were able to buy broccoli, sweet potato and silverbeet, all beautiful produce with a matching price you would expect to pay when living on an isolated island.

Everything that comes into Norfolk Island, comes in by boat, they have been unloading all cargo, in the same manner since habitation began

The cargo ship, which comes from New Zealand, at anchor, out at sea, is met by a lighter being towed by a motor boat. There are two sets of these boats and while one is being loaded the other is at the jetty being unloaded 

A lighter being towed by a motor boat 

Unloading another lighter 

A net bag, with the cargo in it, is hoisted from the lighter to the jetty 

The crane bringing cargo in to the waiting forklift. There are generations of men that have done this dangerous and hard work. The weather is precarious and the seas can be extremely rough 

There are a number of factors that contribute to why fresh fruit and vegetables cost so much on Norfolk Island - they pay an outrageous amount of money for electricity, every household is responsible for catching their own rain water and they need to use an electric pump to pump the water out of the tanks to irrigate the crops. They also have very porous soil and are constantly having to water to stop the plants from curling up their toes. The other agenda that adds to the price of fresh produce is that the locals need to make some $$ to also buy what they need, its a bit of a vicious cycle. To cap it off, vegetable crops have been attacked by the army worm which leaves nothing in its wake. A local was telling us that in March this year she went to the supermarket and left with a big bag of Potato crisps, some meat and a bottle of wine, there was absolutely nothing to buy in the way of fresh vegetables not even a potato, so in comparison we did extremely well this time.

So, tell me, has anyone had a similar experience, in another part of the world?

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