I recently discovered one of the best-kept secrets in Fort Lauderdale: Marando Farms
Farmers Market. This fantastic find offers fresh, organic produce and baked goods on Saturdays and Sundays right in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Owned and operated by Chelsea and Fred Marando, the market and nursery sells fresh-from-the-farm fruit and veggies, fresh eggs, potted herbs, wonderful fresh hummus, pies, breads, pizzas and frozen soups. Or grab a bag of freshly-popped heirloom popcorn (from 270-year-old seeds!) or fresh roasted peanuts. New Jersey Beefsteak Tomatoes are expected to arrive in a week or so.
The Marandos, whose mission is to produce and enhance the sustainability of farming, get the produce from organic, conventional, and transitional farms located in Florida. During Florida’s growing season in fall and winter, the couple travel up to 800 miles around the state in their truck and bring the fresh food to back to the market.
Upping the cool factor is the U-pick, hydroponic garden where you can harvest lettuce, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and green beans. Can’t get it fresher than that!
Further adding to the charm of the place is the chickens, rabbits and resident pigs, Templeton and Rumplestiltskin, who just welcomed two piglets into the Marando menagerie on Monday.
On Sunday nights, the Marandos donate leftover produce and goods to the grandparents raising grandchildren program at The Pantry of Broward.
“Our mission is simple: Think globally. Eat locally,” Chelsea Marando said.
The market is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is located at 1401 S.W. First Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-713-6441; www.marandofarms.com.
Don't forget your reusable grocery bags! After you visit the market, be sure to stop in across the street at the Eastside Antique Market & Architectural Depot at 99 SW 14th Street; 954-523-3202.
-- Doreen Christensen
Courtesy photos, Marando Farms, Cal Deal
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