Producer member profile: The Bedners – farmers and farmers’ market-ers

When The Harvester last checked in with producer members Marie and Steve Bedner, they were going through the lengthy permitting process necessary to build their destination farmers market. Today, Bedner’s Market is in its third year of providing not only fresh-from-the-farm food, but also a fun place to play and learn.

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market takes great pride in being one of the few remaining family-owned and operated farmer’s markets in South Florida. You’ll find it at the corner of State Road 441 and Lee Road in Boynton Beach.

The market is the latest venture for the Bedner family. They’ve been farming in South Florida since the early 1950s when Steve’s father, Arthur Bedner, and Arthur’s new bride Henrietta relocated there from Bridgeville, Pa. Bedner’s Farm was established in 1960 and continues to produce extensive crops of cucumbers and peppers that are primarily sold and distributed along the east coast of the United States.

Marie Bedner serves on FFVA's board of directors.

Art Bedner died in 2007, but his great passion for farming lives on in his children and grandchildren. Steve and Marie (who serves on FFVA’s board of directors), along with Steve’s brothers Charlie and Bruce, their wives, Charlie’s son Jesse and Bruce’s daughter Megan continue to carry on Art’s legacy of farming.  Art’s wife, Henrietta, passed away just last month.

The idea for the market originated with the expansion of the family’s spring garden. Originally intended as a small area to produce fresh produce for family and friends, the garden continued to grow to meet demand. Since their vegetables and fruit were so popular, the Bedners decided to bring their garden harvest directly to the public and began planning the market.

During the wet summer months, the market is relatively quiet but there are still a petting zoo and pony rides for kids. “And different animal rescue groups come over and bring adoptable animals during the summer,” Marie said. “The Elite Greyhounds are there one weekend and Best Friends and Justin Bartlett Animal rescue come out, too. They usually average about three adoptions every time they’re there. It’s been great exposure for them.” The animal adoption events come complete with Bedner’s homemade ice cream, fresh roasted corn, caramel apples, and “Porky & Beth’s BBQ.”

Speaking of delicious treats, food trucks also stop by once a month.

The Bedners' pumpkin patch will re-open this fall.

Once fall rolls around, new activities will be added, including a pumpkin patch. The Bedners are still finalizing plans, but last year they created a “fun field” with bounce houses and various kids’ activities. “And we run hayrides continuously during the season,” Marie added.

The fall will also bring the opening of Bedner’s strawberry and tomato U-pick fields. Plus, field trips are offered where kids can ride a tractor and trailer to learn about the farming operation and visit the U-pick areas.

The market also is hosting its second car show with Asphalt Angels Car Club on Nov. 3. All monies raised will be donated to charity.

To get to Bedner’s Market, point your GPS to 10066 Lee Road, Boynton Beach 33473, or click here for directions.

Learn more about the Bedners and their market on their website and make plans to bring the kids out for a little fun in the country air.

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