From farm to table in the Byron Hinterlands

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Keep your eyes peeled for the signs tucked along the sides of the roads advertising farm fresh fruits and veggies. And remember, stealing is bad karma.

Byron Bay is the most expensive city in Australia, which is already one of the most expensive countries in the world. We’ve been shell shocked by the cost of most things here, food being no exception. We were getting lucky with the farmer’s markets when we found ourselves stuck between a Sunday and a Thursday with only the Woolworth’s in sight. Not one to be deterred, I made use of the interwebs and found this nifty little drive through the Byron Hinterlands that promised to bring us right to the source of our food.

ROADSIDE STALLS, COOPERS SHOOT AND NEWRYBAR. Have a purseload of gold coins handy for a tour of the roadside stalls in Coopers Shoot and Newrybar, where farmers sell whatever is in season picked that morning. Start at the corner of Piccadilly Hill Road and Coopers Shoot Road, where you might find bananas or tomatoes or eggs. About two kilometres up Piccadilly Hill Road on the right is a drive-in stall where you can buy enormous bunches of herbs, kale, spinach and other green vegetables and limes. Keep going and turn right on to Broken Head Road, where stalls sell avocados, citrus and, in one case, coffee roasted that day. Turn right to the Pacific Highway and head towards Bangalow – on the left at Lawlers Lane is a spud stall where you can buy beautiful, freshly dug Dutch Cream potatoes. On the road between Bangalow and Byron you’ll find a blueberry and peach farm on the left and a mixed produce holding – with superb watermelon – on the other. Slot those coins into the honesty boxes for the hard-working farmers and remember, as the sign on one stall says: “Stealing is bad karma.” – Sydney Morning Herald

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The lady finger bananas and kale at $2 each were our favorite scores. We wouldn’t buy the peaches again–they were powdery on the inside.

We scored some great finds, at prices that you wouldn’t even find at the farmer’s markets. Just make sure to bring plenty of gold coins. Along the way, we also stopped in at Harvest Cafe for a freshly baked loaf of olive bread, Zeltveld’s for a 2-for-1 coupon at their retail outlet in Bangalow and the butcher in Bangalow for some of the best bacon we’ve ever had (Bangalow is known for its pork). And after you have lady finger bananas, everything else will taste like powder. Our Airbnb hosts even told us about a farm where you could buy fresh milk straight from the teat at just $1 a litre.

As you can see, all of this food has been keeping us pretty busy in the kitchen. Our favorite meal was a bucatini carbonara (not pictured) made with the Bangalow bacon and fresh bucatini from the Thursday market.

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On our last few days in Byron, we had kale at every meal, both as a side and in green smoothies.

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