Throughout this article, the author deals with the topic of the moral economy of the informal labor market, focusing on the greenhouses' sector in the province of Ragusa (Sicily). The ethnographic experience as a participant observer in one of the richest districts of South Italian agriculture, helped to reconstruct the interplay emerging between the State, the entrepreneurs and the Italian and migrants laborers, harnessed in this quasi-informal system of production. The case of "fake agricultural workers", namely of people fictitiously hired in agriculture in order to receive the unemployment subsidy, represents an interesting example, since it allowed to scrutinize some of the categories, both cognitive and normative, that constitute the "moral order" of the agricultural local labor market. The author, thus, through several empirical examples, tried to rep to some relevant questions, like what is deem to be "legitimate" or "illegitimate" in the economic realm, what is constructed as "convenient" or "valuable" and how does ethnicity play a role in defining the "appropriateness" of individuals’ coping strategies.
Keywords: Moral economy, informality, agricultural labor market, fake farmworkers, migrant laborers, legitimacy