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A concept developed by Macleay Islander Robbie Kirk could ‘take-off’ as a unique new island industry.

Our islands were once known as the ‘Garden islands’ where produce was grown for ‘the mainland’ in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What that means is we have great soil for growing the best produce!

Match that with some great ‘old time’ recipes, and you have a potential island garden industry.

Others have come up with similar concepts in the past, but Macleay Islander Robbie Kirk has taken it to a whole new level.

In writing a story harking back to the 1950s, her research revealed the amount of home cooking that was carried out in those days, and the then prevalence of many community fairs and stalls.

She and her husband Ian Kirk launched the island library system, with their home producing the ‘first’ Street Library that are now prevalent around our islands.

This has led Robbie to establish another ‘first’.

The first Tiny Stall on our islands.

It is similar in concept to the Street Library cabinets, except The Tiny Stall contains produce ‘home made’ by Robbie.

All the product made is grown on the islands and is ‘organic’.

Husband Ian came up with a cabinet fashioned from an old army ‘ammunition box’

It has been decorated by island artist Catherine Marsh, with shelves and product.

Next to it is a clever slot arrangement where an ‘honour’ payment system is in place.

It is all about island honesty and so far, has been bubbling along brilliantly.

Whilst there, we decided to purchase a jar of Robbie’s marmalade jam as well as a jar of chutney and her worm farm organic plant enhancer.

All the money raised goes towards an Aboriginal Literacy program.

On the inside of the cabinet, there is a notice that says: “This stall is an ‘honesty’ stall like the ones outside farms in the hinterland. Pop your money in ‘Smiley’ (adjacent slim container with a smiley face’.

“To keep the spirit going, return bottles and boomerang bags and bring your seeds to share.

“Why don’t you make a tiny stall, too, to sell, barter or gift excess veggies or your craft? The more the merrier!

Robbie hopes others from all the islands start growing and producing island recipes and produce to sell and exchange.

“This is a simple way to go about it, and others, too, can help raise funds for charities or groups in this way,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander.

• Robbie with island resident Margaret Denington, purchasing from The Tiny Stall

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