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Bedner's Farm Fresh Market, 10066 Lee Road, Boynton Beach. Open year-round, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 561-733-5490, or visit bedners.com.
Located on the edge of the Everglades, this spot — around since 1960, when the Arthur Bedner family laid down its Pennsylvania roots in South Florida — is crawling with kids on the weekend. Family-friendly activities like hayrides, food trucks, pony rides, and an outdoor barbecue by Porky & Beth's BBQ give it a carnival atmosphere.
One of the most popular draws is the "you pick" area, where city dwellers get a miniature taste of farm life by hanging out in fields plucking strawberries off the vine and picking pumpkins from the patch. The you-pick area is closed until December.
Produce here, including mountains of winter squash, are in particularly good shape — and at reasonable prices: $2.49 for a pound of fingerling potatoes — but with much of the crop imported this time of year, the real standout might be the assortment of other regionally sourced goodies.
During our visit, customers were placing orders for free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free Thanksgiving turkeys and holiday pies from Lake Worth-based Upper Crust. The market is one of the few South Palm Beach County outlets that carry Upper Crust's popular pies on a year-round basis.
Make it a point to swing by the cooler to pick up a Florida-made snack for the ride home. Our personal favorite was the Nature's Healthy Gourmet dill hummus, made in Port St. Lucie.
Boca Raton Green Market, Monument Piazza on the northeast corner of South Federal Highway and SE Mizner Boulevard, Boca Raton. Open October through May, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Boca's weekly market — organized by the Children's Museum of Boca Raton and sponsored by a collection of local businesses and nonprofits — is a popular Saturday-morning hangout. Several dozen tents line up in the parking lot of Royal Palm Place, where parking is free and ample.
Roughly a third of the vendors are selling nonfood items like hanging plants for the patio, hand-stitched doggy clothes, or handmade soaps. This market is best for organic produce and freshly made baked goods.
Market fixture Le Vinois Bakery is located next to a popular stone crab monger. Manned by perpetually sunny French ex-pat Francis Modina, Le Vinois sells sheets of sticky sweet rugulah in three flavors; orange and chocolate, apricot, and raspberry. The farmer's cheese bread is good enough to tear into on the spot, as are the chocolate croissants and flatbreads.
Healthy World Organics parks its colorful van in the northwest corner of the market, setting out small wicker baskets of rainbow carrots, delicate squash, and fist-sized beets. Florida-grown produce is always highlighted, and the prices are comparable to — and often lower than — the organics section at Whole Foods Market.