“Farmers are the first environmentalists,” said Mary Bedner, co-owner of Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market, as she walked through the store her family owns and operates. “Our objective is to be as green as possible and to try to keep the land as pristine as we can.”
It has been the duty of the farmer for centuries to keep the environment healthy in order to produce the best-quality products, she said. For farmers, the environment is their livelihood, and farms such as Bedner’s have been finding minimally invasive alternatives to reduce their impact on the environment.
Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market, located at the corner of State Road 7 and Lee Road west of Boynton Beach, was featured recently on Designing Spaces Think Green, a Lifetime TV network show, because of its low impact on the environment.
Designing Spaces features environmentally friendly home improvement ideas and products. Bedner’s was recognized for its eco-friendly approach to running a farmer’s market.
The local business came to the attention of the show through an interesting connection. “A local production company in Pompano Beach is part of the network,” Bedner said. “One of producers who shops here thought it would be a perfect location for a segment.”
The producer got in contact with Bedner, and she agreed to take part. “Once they got here, they liked it, and that’s why they came inside and focused on a lot of different areas,” she said.
The producers chose Bedner’s as a backdrop for the segment because the market complemented the show’s eco-friendly topics. “We have a low carbon footprint, and the producer recognized that during her shopping experience here,” Bedner said. “She thought this would be an ideal location for that type of project.”
On the day of the shooting, the production crew, host and producer filled the market with their cameras and sound equipment for several hours. Customers looked on as the crew set up, and host Ted Brunson began the segment by speaking to Bedner in front of the market’s entrance.
“To watch them do all that was really interesting,” Bedner said. “And to see the final product was just really great because I got to see how everything came together.”
The segment features three eco-friendly topics — solar power, energy-efficient windows and synthetic lawns. The segments were filmed in different locations throughout the country. Brunson goes back and forth between topics, introducing the segments from Bedner’s.
“They flew him in all the way from Chicago, which was amazing,” Bedner said. “And he came in and was really friendly, and everything just flowed.”
When the topic of energy-efficient windows came up, Brunson showed the energy-efficient windows that Bedner’s has installed throughout the market. “The windows we have are hurricane-proof, so we don’t have to put shutters on them,” Bedner said. “So that makes it better insulated, and that was one of the appeals for the producers.”
For the segment, Brunson also bought some produce and explained how Bedner’s has a low carbon footprint because the produce it sells is grown on its own farm. “He really liked the pepper section and the different lettuces, and used one of our reusable bags to fill up and then make a purchase,” Bedner said. “He brought that part of our market into the show, which was awesome for us.”
It was a wonderful opportunity for the local business to be recognized for environmental preservation efforts. “People realize how minimal our impact is on the environment, versus [businesses] that truck in their produce,” she said. “And the shelf life is fresher because it’s fresh picked straight to the shelves.”
Bedner’s farm borders the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The owners keep the area sustainable for not only themselves but for all the wildlife in the area. “We have to be very careful and maintain things to keep it clean because we are part of the Everglades system,” Bedner said.
The owners keep the farm environmentally sustainable through various alternatives, from its farming practices to the way its market building was constructed. From the floors to the windows, the owners made sure that the structure was as eco-friendly as possible.
“We tried to keep everything as basic as possible, from the shelving to the unpolished floors,” Bedner said. “We try to keep it minimal, and the appeal is basic.”
The segment has begun airing on Lifetime TV and is also available at www.designingspaces.tv/greenspaces. The next TV air date is July 12.
Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market is located at 10066 Lee Road at State Road 7. For more information, visit www.bedners.com or call (561) 733-5490.