Nestled on a Terrigal front drive sits The Little Harvest, a gorgeous organic food truck serving up home-grown dishes with a difference.
Sourcing fresh ingredients from local farms, the truck’s owners – and passionate foodies – Preston Nancarrow and Talissa Robins are all about sustainable, nutritious food.
The couple travel between Byron Bay and the Central Coast cooking up a fusion of Italian and Mexican cuisines, from Preston’s traditional beef ragù with seasonal herbs, to sesame-baked pumpkin tacos with black bean hummus and housemade aioli.
We caught up with Talissa, one half of The Little Harvest, to chat all things food, farming and future dish destinations.
How did The Little Harvest come about? What’s the story behind you guys and the truck?
We started out on an organic farm a couple of years ago – it was literally just the two of us trying to run a small-scale farm! It was incredible but around harvest time, the owner sold the property and unfortunately we weren’t able to continue and follow through with our farm dreams.
It was around this time that we started exploring the idea of having a food truck.
Preston has quite a bit of experience in the cheffing industry, but he didn’t really like how it was organised and the way people were treated. So he left that and we began to look for something different.
We’re both really passionate about food and the things we put into our bodies, so this year we just decided to go for it. We bought the truck right before Covid-19 happened and just as we secured the purchase, the lockdown got announced.
Yeah. But at the same time, they changed the regulations so that food trucks could work off of private properties, which was never allowed before. So, we jumped on that and just started operating out of our driveway!
We also travel up to Byron, where my family live, so we’ve been working out of the Bay there too.
That’s amazing. How’s it been?
It’s been great. Right from when we started, we were selling out within an hour and a half!
I think people see us a good excuse to get out and about, especially at the start, when coronavirus restrictions were tighter. It was something different in their lives.
What’s been your most memorable moment running The Little Harvest?
Our opening night, definitely. I looked up out of the truck and just saw a huge line down our street! Everyone was just enjoying themselves, having a drink and a chat.
It was so nice to see people coming together and that fact that it was something we created – that was a great moment.
Why are sustainably-sourced ingredients so important to you guys?
We just want to be able to feed and nourish people with the right food.
Preston’s obsessed with studying and reading up on everything food-related. He studied Environmental Science for a while, and he knows a lot about nutrition and healthy food – and I learn too (because he tells me!)
We both think that with the state of the world and things that are going on at the moment, small-scale faming is something we can’t really ignore – we think it’s something that needs to happen.
Can you tell us more about small-scale farming?
Yeah, so to us small-scale farming is as local and organic as possible. When we ran our farm, it was completely organic – and a lot of hard work! But not being organic just wasn’t an option for us.
The food is never mass-produced and it’s always sustainable. So that means proper crop rotation, animal rotation – a whole biodynamic system. We’d love to get into that again in the future, but right now, the food truck is just right for us.
Absolutely – so what’s your favourite dish from the truck?
Preston’s beef ragù will always be my favourite. It’s insane. I’ll eat Italian over anything though, so I’m biased towards the pasta.
But if you ask anyone else, I think people are all for our Mexican menu. They hear tacos and come running!
Being complete foodies, what food places do you recommend in Byron? (when The Little Harvest isn’t around, of course!)
One of our favourites is Barrio. The food there is amazing – they do small plates, kind of tapas style. And they do a lot on the fire which we love.
Another one is St Elmo’s. It’s also tapas, but very different to Barrio.
And another place we love is Light Years. It’s Asian cuisine and it’s so good.
Delicious! So what’s next for The Little Harvest?
We have lots of weddings and events booked in for next year, which we’re really looking forward to. We can’t wait to start travelling around more.
Our bookings all over the place – some are up near Port Macquarie, some near Seal Rocks, and others are more local.
Because so many people from around here have heard of us now, we’re getting loads of local bookings which is cool.
That’s so great – we’re buzzed for you guys!
But we couldn’t finish without asking – what’s your favourite Locals Only scent?
Watermelon! It’s reeeeallly, really good. It smells so nice and fresh.
We agree! Thanks so much for chatting with us, Talissa. We can’t wait to see what’s next for The Little Harvest and to try Preston’s renowned ragù!
Follow The Little Harvest’s adventures: @the.little.harvest