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Adelaide Central Markets

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  • #257293
    VanessaVanessa
    Member

    Just wondering if anyone has been to the Central Markets lately (like in the last couple of years) and if they wouldn’t mind sharing their thoughts.

    Where I live is right in the middle of market garden country, but it seems that unless you know someone who works at them all the produce is packed and sent off to “somewhere” (i.e. no farm gate sales)

    We used to have one of the local market gardeners (or wholesalers) who each Saturday morning would turn up in the Main Street of town with a truck and forklift and set up a nice little fruit and veg market, but for the last few weeks when we have turned up they have been nowhere to be seen (and prior to that their quality and variety had been dropping and they prices rising)

    There is a couple of small shops around nearby but they are normally closed when I go to work and then when I come home.

    Considering that I work just outside of the City, it wouldn’t be that difficult to take an extra long lunch, go in to the markets and pick up what I need for a week or so.

    On their website they are promoting 2 hours free parking at the UPark if you spend $10 at any one stall on Wednesdays. Although apparently Wednesdays is an “optional opening” day, so only limited stalls are open.

    Anyone been on a Wednesday before? Obviously with only “limited stalls” open it wont be like Friday nights, (which could be good to not have to fight the crowds) but is there still enough open to make it a worthwhile trip for general fruit and veg?

    #527771
    RavykRavyk
    Member

    I would think most of the fruit and veg stalls will be open on Wed, its normally the more speciality stalls that aren’t [meat, cheese, etc]. There are tonnes of fruit and veg stalls in there!

    I find it really expensive and often the quality is not that great from most stalls…no better really than supermarkets. Obviously there are high quality stalls and they have better produce but you pay for that! I prefer the organic fruit and veg stall, their stuff is good but prices can vary and they are very seasonally orientated, so it can be frustrating if you go in for something specific and they dont have it.

    I dont go in often anymore because I found a co-op near me and I just hate the city in general. But I will go in occasionally for meat, cheese and/or turkish bread.

    #527772
    BelBel
    Member

    Hi Vanessa.

    I’ve never been to the markets on a Wednesday, but I work in town and might pop across this Wednesday to have a look and see how quiet it is. I’ll let you know.

    I like the Central Markets, but to be honest, it’s the seafood/meat/cheese/bakery places that I like better than the fruit & veg. The fruit & veg stalls are really just a collection of retailers as opposed to market gardeners. I also find the business and hustle & bustle a bit overwhelming and don’t know that it’s worth the bother sometimes.

    I go to the Gepps Cross market every Sunday instead. Whilst there is still a fair collection of retailers, there are many more true gardeners there. Farmers from Renmark selling citrus and avocadoes, Asian gardeners from out near Virginia selling glasshouse produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum and the like. Then there’s the lady that sells home-made Turkish bread/dips/borek, plenty of people selling plants/seedlings, lots of fresh herbs and I even buy my honey, olives and salamis etc there. You can tell by talking to the sellers who is just on-selling and who grows the stuff. They even sell Cowell oysters there and a selection of fish. It’s a really good selection of basic produce, but doesn’t have all the extra stuff like fresh meat & cheese.

    #527773
    dierichdierich
    Participant

    I’m there most days – very close to work so find i’m now buying my f&v every day or so. I haven’t been on a Wednesday for ages though as I work from home that day. Mondays are similar, most of the speciality closed by a few f&v open so you would be able to get any basics you were after. unfortunately they recently closed down the good asian veg/supermarket place at the back which used to open every day.

    I don’t know how prices compare to the supermarket as I dont’ shop in them – but even if prices/quality were the same you would be supporting a small business rather than a profit hungry conglomerate :S

    I’ll pay a bit more attention to what’s open on Monday and let you know – anything in particular you would be after, do you want some prices on anything (although they change regularly)?

    #527774
    sipisipi
    Member

    Vanessa, I totally understand re living in the area but not accessing the produce. My parents live in Adelaide’s main market gardening area, but aren’t market gardeners themselves so therefore don’t get consistent access to produce.

    I have been told that Foodland buys it produce from the same place as “Adelaide Fresh” on Prospect Road, Prospect does. Now the person that told me has in-laws as market gardeners. But I don’t know whether they merely mean that Foodland buys the produce at the Pooraka Wholesale markets like Adelaide Fresh does, or whether they meant that Foodland actually buys from the same sellers/stalls at the Pooraka wholesale markets.

    I have heard through gossip that you need to be careful of pesticide content in some of the direct sellers at the Gepps Cross Markets, as some farmers are backyard gardners are are not monitored as such.

    Having said that I have family that goes to Gepps Cross every Sunday and swear it is the best value about. I keep meaning to go there, but every weekend we seem to be busy and not get there.

    I find the hussle of the central markets on a busy saturday or friday night overwhelming with my 4 children in tow. However I do like the advantage of getting the other items like cheeses, breads, goodies & grains etc.

    I like Metropolitan Fresh in North Adelaide Village, or Adelaide Fresh on Prospect Road. They aren’t cheap, but the produce is quality and tends to last longer, so I don’t throw any out.

    Good Luck.

    I have been told Foodland Sefton Park is also good.

    #527775
    froot_loopzfroot_loopz
    Member

    Love the Central Markets.

    When I worked in the city I always popped through on the way home on days it was open

    #527776
    RobyneRobyne
    Member

    When Son1 has his holidays we always take a trip down to the Central markets. Granddaughter loves the place.

    She also loves the market on Garden Island on Sunday morning. She loves the bustle of the place.

    All we have down here is the Victor harbour farmers market on Saturday Morning, a council barrow in Goolwa

    on Thursday morning and its wohat is grown locally

    and a market mainly run by out of towners. Woolies and Foodland stopped the farmers market opening in Goolwa.

    One bread person on the market sells small sour dough bread for $8.50 a loaf.

    #527777
    MiaowzenMiaowzen
    Member

    I go to Gepps Cross on Sundays and I think it’s the best although i can’t get organic there so stick to my own veg from my garden and use the market for nuts, trees, fruit, olive oil and fish. I don’t like central markets as it’s noisy, expensive, and I don’t like the ‘retail’ experience. I prefer buying from a person rather than a shop. I am not sure that Wednesdays would be a good day to go as only the biggest retailers would be open on that day, but if you can get parking, go for a quick walk over the road to wilson’s organics and get all your groceries there. They sell better fruit and veg than any of the market retailers and they sell good quality bread and dairy too.

    #527778
    BelBel
    Member

    Unless you can go to a market where the growers sell their own produce, all the fruit and veg in Adelaide generally comes from the same place – the Pooraka Produce market. The only difference is the selection process. Dad used to own a fruit & veg shop in Gawler. He’d be in at the market 1st thing in the morning picking the best of the best along with most of the other reputable fruit & veg shop owners. After that came the people looking for cheaper/lesser quality fruit and veg. Lastly, the big supermarkets would ring through their order and get what was left over at a reduced price. It was rare that the supermarkets would actually view their fruit and veg before purchasing. I like being able to converse with the growers at Gepps Cross market and find out where their stuff is grown – Vanessa, many of the Asian growers from out your way are likely selling at Gepps Cross as there is a big contingent from Virginia. When I was a kid, my Dad & Italian grandparents were market gardeners and I helped sell fruit & veg at the Torrens Island market. Not sure if there are still many growers there though, or whether people just on-sell from Pooraka markets now as it’s been years since I’ve been there.

    #527779
    RobyneRobyne
    Member

    Pooraka Markets have changed all their selling a lot of the long term sellers have left the markets

    When Hubby said about it as he delivers fruit and Vegg on the south coast for a guy who owns the business

    He said they don’t allow any of the produce out till after 7am and the quality has dropped off a lot lately.

    When HUbby told Son1 he said it sounds like the big 2 supermarkets have their hands in it now. to make people

    buy at their stores

    #527780
    VanessaVanessa
    Member

    Well Yesterday I went to the Central markets during my lunch break.

    Results are as follows:

    No not every stall is open, but for basic fruit and veg, I was happy with what was, at one stall I was able to get most of what I needed (potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce, bananas, tomatoes, cucumber)for just over $12 – so got my free 2 hours parking, another stall I got celery and some kiwifruit, then I treated myself to some lunch in the food court.

    So all up I walked out of there with one of those big Bunnings bags full of fruit and veg and lunch and parking all for under $25.

    Most of the other shops like the smelly cheese shop, Charleworth Nuts (I purposely quickly walked past them otherwise I would be broke very quickly), Standoms (small goods and butcher)and the two fishmongers at each end were open, it was only a few which weren’t open.

    I was a bit rushed because I had to be back in the office for a meeting, and without one of those “nanna trollies” I didn’t want to have to carry too much around, as it was what I bought was getting to be pretty heavy by the time I got back to the car.

    But my lessons I did learn:

    1) One of those “Nanna Trollies” would come in very handy

    2) Take a small notebook to write down a list of what you want and to keep track of what you have bought already.

    3) Park near the escalators in the middle not the ones which go to the arcade, unless you need to go to the arcade

    4) When you come out of the carpark you are on Gouger St, not Grote St and a right turn will not get you to the East side of town (I worked this out once I saw the Australia Post Depot and was almost at West Tce!! -oops-)

    5) a compass and map may be handy for those who are easily disoriented, both in the carpark and in the market, I know I ended up going past a couple of stalls twice because I turned the wrong way!!!

    #527781
    kind_bloggerkind_blogger
    Member

    I’m at the Central Markets most days as I live in the city and it’s my “local”. Something is open in there everyday bar Sunday. When I say something, I mean at least one stall. Mondays tend to be quiet, but you’ll have choice from Tuesday through to Saturday. Friday and Saturday are the biggest days.

    I disagree with anybody that makes the general comment that the Market is expensive. House of Organics–which is arguably one of the most premium stalls–who sell largely organic produce tend to be priced roughly the same as Coles or Woolworths. Not bad: organic produce for the same price as at the supermarket. And everything else tends to be under that.

    Saturday afternoon, from 1:30pm, is a great time to go and score a bargin. You’ll easily fill a bag for under $10. Great if you intend to stock up the freezer with soup, stew and curry.

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