Thursday, March 22, 2012

Red Bell Pepper: Bedner's Florida U-Pick Style

Not all bell peppers taste the same. I've bought them from stores and farm stands but the best come from u-pick-it farms. There I get to use my mother's advice. She always told me to pick fruits and vegetables with the deepest color because they have the best flavor and most nutrients.

Bedner's Farm sign as seen from u-pick strawberry field,
Boynton Beach, Florida

So, whenever I get a chance I go to u-pick farms like the one in Boynton Beach called Bedner's. They had tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries to pick when I went this past Tuesday.

Back in January, I went to Bedner's to pick peppers and tomatoes, and so knew it was going to be a short walk to the rows. I was wrong.

The plants were gone and I had to walk an extra 1/2 mile. It was hot, I was in jeans, and by the time I got to the second field I was one pant size smaller. But it was worth it.

Tomato plants at Bedner's Farm u-pick,
Boynton Beach, Florida, Copyright 2012 by Helen A Lockey

I was there to pick bells but the fully loaded tomato plants called to me as I passed. So, I put a few into my basket. Then I looked for peppers but found few that were ready on the row.

Row of bell peppers at Bedner's Farm u-pick,
Boynton Beach, Florida
Copyright 2012 by Helen A Lockey

I switched to another row. This time they were too ripe and many were rotting on the plants. Frustrated, I grabbed some more tomatoes and shoved them into my basket. I continued doing this until out of the corner of my eye I saw a bell pepper that might be ok.

Hidden red bell pepper at Bedner's Farm u-pick,
Boynton Beach, Florida
Copyright 2012 by Helen A Lockey

Reaching down through the thick green foliage, I grasped the pepper and ran my fingers over its surface to check for soft spots. There were none. I twisted it off the stalk and pulled it towards me. It had a gorgeous deep red color. Then I saw another one, and another, and another. I stopped at seven remembering the sign at the entrance to the field that said something like, "only pick what you are willing to pay for."

Full basket of fresh picked tomatoes and red bell peppers,
at Bedner's Farm u-pick, Boynton Beach, Florida
Copyright 2012 by Helen A Lockey

In the end, I bought over $5 of tomatoes and over $7 of red bell peppers, they cost $0.99/lb. When I got home, I was further delighted by the bell peppers. They were the sweetest bells I had ever tasted.

I will probably be back at Bedner's this weekend for more but this time I'm wearing shorts.

Bedner's Farm U-pick and Market is located at 10066 Lee Rd, Boynton Beach, FL  33473
(Just off 441 between Atlantic Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard)

They are open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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