PRICKLE HILL PRODUCE
James Duffell talks openly about how selling his produce in Sydney farmers’ markets has saved his family farm.
“I’m from an area in Griffith near the Murrumbidgee River, where my family has been since after the First World War,” says James. “We traditionally grow stone fruit and citrus. A few years ago we started bringing produce up to Sydney to sell to try and get some more cash flow back into the farm.
“The markets are basically now our cash flow for everything. What we do in Sydney now maintains not just my father, who runs the farm, but my uncles as well.”
Prickle Hill Produce, which operates at Cambridge Markets EQ every Wednesday and Saturday and other markets, sells beautiful stone fruit including plums, sugarplums and Chinese red dates, citrus and seasonal vegetables including Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. James has also found a popular side business in condiments, including Worcester sauce made by his dad Roy.
“My dad has always made Worcester sauce for us and would sell it at church fairs at Christmas,” says James. “But a few years ago we said to dad, ‘why not try making it for everyone else’.”
The sauce, made from plums, has since been a hit with consumers who love its piquancy. Prickle Hill’s olive oil has also been an award-winner.
For James, the move to selling in markets has been a saviour for his family farm.
“We really appreciate the people who come along to the markets,” he says. “They become a part of our lives, and we become part of theirs. We really want people to know where their money is going when they spend it at a store like ours.”