Chelsea and Fred Marando. Chelsea and Fred opened Marando Farms with a dream to do what they love and to become a staple of the Fort Lauderdale community. When you buy food locally you reduce energy consumption. Local food doesn't have to travel far! Not only do we help reduce pollutants, but you get a higher quality of food!

Marando Farms is dedicated to saving Florida’s farms and ranch land, promoting healthy farming practices and supporting farms and farmers. As the vital link among farmers, conservationists and policy-makers, we’re focused on ensuring the availability of fresh food, a healthy environment and strong local economies across the state. The year ahead promises exciting new directions and opportunities for Marando Farms. As we move forward the organization will continue to lead the way in creating new opportunities for farmers and ranchers to help combat climate change, grow healthy local foods, produce renewable energy and continue to keep our air and waterways clean. 

(From the Greek words hydro, water and ponos, labor) is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, mineral wool, or coconut husk. This is one of the ways Marando farms grows vegetables on our farm.

Researchers discovered in the 19th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant's water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.

Aquaponics is a system of agriculture involving the simultaneous cultivation of plants and aquatic animals such as fish in a symbiotic environment. In a traditional aquaculture, animal effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is then led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the clean water is recirculated back to the animals. The term aquaponics is a portmanteau of the terms aquaculture and hydroponic.
Aquaponic systems vary in size from small indoor or outdoor units to large commercial units. The systems usually contain fresh water, but salt water systems are plausible depending on the type of aquatic animal and vegetation.

As we begin our sixth planting season, we are excited to continue these special features and programs:

Community Garden: We've installed 16 raised bed garden plots (10 x 10 and 5 x 10) to begin the Eat Real Food Community Garden. This pilot project will enable area families and businesses to grow fresh organic produce for either their own use, or for donation to community food banks and other non-profit organizations in need. It's a great way to get children involved in agriculture and healthy eating. Watch for more news on this exciting new venture.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Our first CSA is up and running. In addition to receiving fresh baskets of local produce, our members enjoy tours of the farms growing this food, honey shares, fresh eggs, and other benefits.

Field Trip Tours: Marando Farms is passionate about sharing our knowledge and facilities with others. Various hands-on, interactive programs are available for pre-schoolers though adults. Schools, scout troops and other groups welcome. For more information click here.

Farm animal section: All of our animals were previously abandoned. We rescue and work closely with the Wildlife Care Center to provide them with a clean, healthy environment. Newly constructed is a special fenced-in area where our goats, pigs, geese, ducks, etc. live safely and can be enjoyed by others.