An undercover network of city dwellers has been caught flogging produce at some of Sydney’s most prestigious farmers’ markets, a special Sydney Sentinel investigation can reveal.
Market-goers became suspicious when one stall owner accidentally used plastic instead of paper bags and an “organic” baker was caught painting a hashtag over the “sun” in Sunblest to create Instagram’s must-have bakery accessory #blest.
Speaking exclusively to Sydney Sentinel, one stallholder, who declined to give his name or any identifying details other than the fact that he’s “a third-generation Mascot man”, admitted to being a non-farmer, but said it didn’t make the market circuit any easier.
“I have to get up really early to gather the finest produce from my local Woolies express,” he said. “I get the kids to kick the apples around in the backyard for a bit before we sell it, as a lot of those inner-city folks prefer a rustic look, then we all sit around the kitchen table to pick off the stickers together. It’s a real family business.”
Another stallholder, who lives in a studio apartment in Darlinghurst and claimed to have been posing as a carrot farmer from Orange for so long he sometimes forgot that he wasn’t, said he was surprised to have finally been caught, considering how underground (pun probably not intended) his business was.
“So long as you strike the right balance of rustic and sanitised – you know, maybe using some wooden crates as part of your display but making sure there’s no sign of any actual dirt – no one asks too many questions. The ‘farmer’ in markets is really just a meaningless brand buzzword anyway, like ‘fair’ in trade.”
Real growers are furious about the allegations, claiming it’s hard enough for a farmer to get a wife without all these hipsters blowing in.