CERES is an environmental education centre, urban farm and social enterprise hub located on Wurundjeri land alongside the Merri Creek in Melbourne.
We grow food, minds and community through an integrated systems approach. Our activities span environmental, social, economic, spiritual and cultural dimensions.
Our vision is for people to fall in love with the Earth again.
Since CERES (pronounced ‘series’) was established in 1982, the efforts of many groups, staff and volunteers have transformed the site. Once a desolate wasteland, today CERES is a place of nature and beauty, inhabited by a vibrant and diverse community. It is a place where almost 500,000 people come each year to share ideas about living well together, and directly participate in meeting their social and material needs in a sustainable way.
We reach many more people through our education outreach programs, grocery delivery service and international partnership programs.
Through social enterprises, education and training, employment and community engagement, CERES provides the means by which people can build awareness of current local and global issues, and join in the movement for economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Our social enterprises are part of the movement away from globalisation and toward localisation, in particular of our food systems. Local food economies reduce energy use and carbon emissions, reduce packaging, processing and refrigeration, increase diversity, increase food security and create employment. CERES demonstrates how a local food economy can make an entire community healthier and more resilient.
- Fair Food
- Fair Wood
- Honey Lane Market Garden
- Joe’s Market Garden
- Merri Cafe
- Tamil Feasts
Education and Training
Resilience requires practical skills for living in a more connected way. CERES education and training programs teach some of these skills, and we also invite and host others who share their skills.
- Workshops and Courses
- Training Programs
- School Excursions
- School Incursions
- School Outreach (ResourceSmart Schools)
CERES helps people fall in love with the Earth, and each other. In advocating for love and connection, especially in times of danger and fear, we are countering the narrative that encourages us to think of ourselves as individual consumers. We are human beings of Planet Earth, and we are profoundly and radically connected to the Earth and to each other.
History of the Site
For thousands of years the Wurundjeri people lived on the land where CERES now stands. The Merri Creek was a focus of their lifestyle, a place to swim and play and a vital source of food.
Following the European invasion, the Victorian gold rush and the growth of Melbourne city, the site was quarried for bluestone then turned into a landfill site for household and construction waste. As industry moved in the water became polluted and the trees and wildlife disappeared.
In 1982 small group of people in the local area approached the then-Brunswick (now Moreland) Council about making use of the land to grow vegetables and make compost as part of a “work-for-the-dole” program. Explorations in alternative technology quickly followed, and shortly afterwards, invitations for school kids to learn about these emerging programs in green technology, recycling and organic farming.
Along with Merri Creek Management Committee and Friends of Merri Creek, CERES and volunteers planted hundreds of trees and shrubs and lobbied governments to clean up the creek. In 1994, after 12 years of remediation work, Sacred Kingfishers returned to nest along the banks of the creek, having been absent for many years.
Now, CERES is an award-winning community place that is visited by people from around the world who want to understand how this place has come to be, and how they can take some of the ingredients back to their own places. We think the key ingredient is love for each other and the Earth.
CERES is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation, governed by a Board of Management elected annually at our Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting is held in November each year and members are encouraged to attend.
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