Ethical Eating

Cure Your Produce Depression at Bedner's

It's pathetically easy to get depressed nowadays. Look at your bank account. Try to find a new job. Watch network television. Hell, just crawl out of bed in the morning. And here's another one: Check out the produce at your local giantsupermegamarket.  

Talk about depressing. Fruits and veggies that look older than Joan Rivers at prices higher than Whitney Houston in a swimming pool full of crack cocaine, all swaddled in plastic wrap and styrofoam so you can't touch them or tell how crappy they really are. 

Luckily, there is a cure for produce depression. Call it veggie Zoloft. Or call it Bedner's Farm Fresh Market (12033 State Road 7, Boynton Beach; 561-499-3994).  

The Bedner family has been growing corn, peppers, cucumbers, and more on 80 acres of land in western Boynton Beach since 1960, but it wasn't until last month that they decided to open a market, selling their own produce along with that of other local growers, all pesticide- and chemical-free.  

Inside the light, airy, concrete-floored market, the shelves practically glitter with vibrantly colorful fruits, veggies, and greens that deliver, you know... real flavor, plus they cost as much as half what you'd pay for your megamarket's withering relics. There are organic eggs, fresh-squeezed juices, and barrels of sour pickles too, not to mention u-pick strawberries and tomatoes out back. 

If you're lucky, they'll even have a treat usually reserved only for backyard gardeners -- freshly picked squash blossoms. Stuffed, battered, and deep-fried, they're one of the best things on the planet you could ever put in your mouth. Check back with Charlie for a couple of recipes for this irresistible little delicacy, but don't wait to check out Bedner's. It's cheaper than Zoloft and better for you too.