Wild Acres Farms was originally developed by Dr L. A. Dunton in the 50s and was over 1000 acres. Angus cattle was its first commodity and logically hay production of Alicia Bermuda and Coast Cross Bermuda became apart of the operation. Entreprernurial in nature, Doc at one point actually did commercial hay baling in various parts of Florida. In addition he with the help of his father Rev L.W. Dunton he took on state highway beautification contracts during the Johnson administration.
With many changes over the years, including volatile cattle prices and the sale of much of the farm he decided to establish a woody ornamentals nursery. Before his passing in 2007 he and his family decided that the beauty of his creation needed to be shared and hopefully generate additional income to support the farm. After several family weddings there, he had much encouragement to offer the facility for weddings to the public. With the support of the Florida Department of Agriculture "agritourism" efforts this could be a good way to offer to the public a facility for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, and to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, ranching, historical, cultural, harvest-your-own, or nature-based activities and attractions.
With the many gardens on the property we are now encouraging groups or individuals to come and tour the property and enjoy the hundreds of native and semi-tropical plants there. This will also give "city-folks" an opportunity to see a working farm in operation. Our online database of these plants can help in educating the general public regarding these plants and some of their attributes. Our pests page may also be helpful to some who can benefit by our experience.
We are also beginning some research and testing on Hydroponic cultivation of vegetables. In a time where land is in short supply due to aggressive development in Florida this seems to be a logical way to produce food where large tracts of land are diminishing.
We encourage those interested in a peaceful hour or two to contact us for an appointment to come out and enjoy what we are so priveledged to have. Tour the gardens and grounds lakeside, bring your lunch and fishing pole if you like and enjoy what our wedding guests rave about.
As we progress, hopefully, with the cooperation of Lake County and the University of Florida extension service we can expand the educational effort to include seminars of various types at the facility.
We also encourage other small farmers (or big) to contact us with regards to the Department of Agriculture's agritourism efforts.
Some of our efforts:
is a cycad native to Mexico, drought tolerant and cold hardy and is used
in landscaping and cut foliage
or Empror Sago is the fastest growing sago, cold hardy but frost prone
|Coonti fern a native Florida cycad and Cycas Revoluta (King Sago)|
|Queen Palms, Chinese Fan palms and Aspidistra - cold hardy landscape plants|
|one of several Pensacola Bahia hay fields and Red Cedar trees used for Christamas trees and landscape|