For those serious about markets, Ceres Environmental Park would no doubt be on high on your list. For those who haven't been or not heard of it, let me introduce you. Set on 4 hectares it houses a nursery, market, cafe, community garden, dam, learning centre, eco house and a lot, lot more!
There are a number of ways to travel to Ceres and also a number of ways to be rewarded for this. The car park holds around 50-60 cars, so depending on what time you get there - will warrant if you secure a space or not. There's not a lot of street parking available, so it is recommended to go when it is not so busy. I dropped in after midday and was able to get one okay (on a Saturday). Mind you it was one of those 35C days we've been having in Melbourne, so I'm sure most people were at the beach or in air conditioning!
Riding a bike seems to be a popular option and good if you are spending the day browsing around and maybe buying a bit of stuff from the organic market and store. A car would be more suitable if you intend to purchase items from the nursery or a bit more food. For those with electric cars and bikes, there is a great solar recharging station:
My main purpose was to check out the organic market, as I'd heard so much about it. As I got there towards the tail end of the markets opening hours, there was produce left - but I anticipate getting there early would be your best bet. Although, quite a few people were lingering around in the shaded seated areas inside the organic market. It was just too lovely a day to not have a fresh, cool organic drink and enjoy the surroundings.
There's lot of fantastic fresh fruit and vegetables on offer. I picked up gorgeous red cherry tomatoes - full of flavour and bursting with sweetness, tiny organic apples - super crisp, mixed salad leaves, zucchinis, sourdough olive bread rolls (amazingly good) and also some fresh peanut butter (love that) from inside the store. If you bring your own containers you can also purchase lentils, legumes, grains and honey. Great if you need a lot or a little.
Ceres organic market is definitely worth a weekend visit or if you are free during the week, great chance to pop in and pick up some beautiful organic produce. The opening times are:
Wednesday 9 am - 2 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 2 pm
Sunday 9 am - 2 pm (Shop only - fresh produce available)
Next week I'll elaborate more on the lush nursery that greets you when you first walk in and also the new addition to Ceres. They are pretty excited about this and it was the second reason I headed down as well. I'd highly recommend blocking out a few hours to spend at Ceres. That way you'll be able to wander through the different areas and really absorb the full beauty and offering of this great community initiative.