Meet the Dalton Family
After almost 40 years, Keith Dalton finally realized his boyhood dream and master plan with his grandfather, Raymond Shoemaker when, in 2018, he, his wife Ann and their son Connor purchased the Shoemaker Farm and re-christened the land as Dalton Farms. Dalton Farms is a partially wooded 99-acre farm boasting a beautiful 6-acre lake. Keith’s grandfather acquired the farm originally in 1933 and decided to plant peaches against the advice of friends; “What did he know about growing peaches?” The first harvest of peaches allowed him to pay off the mortgage on the farm. However, in order to support the farm before that first harvest, Keith’s grandfather deployed other strategies and became one of those resourceful farmers who provided bootleg whiskey and coal to the Swedesboro and surrounding communities; his resourcefulness allowed for the farm to remain in the family.
Much like his grandfather, after Keith and his family purchased the farm, the question of “How do we leverage this beautiful place and support what it has become to our family?” was at the forefront of Keith, Ann and Connor’s minds. Keith began by starting beehives on the farm and now has 10 thriving hives producing Dalton Farms Hi Honey! Along with his good friend, Chris Viereck of Random Acts of Farmage Agritainment, Dalton Farms originally hosted Civil War re-enactments on the sprawling 99 acres. Keith and Chris then decided to take a leap of faith, much like Keith’s grandfather, and planted 1.2 million sunflowers of all varieties and the 1st Annual Dalton Farms Sunflower Festival was born. The question raised to Mr. Shoemaker all those years ago resurfaced as they embarked on this journey; “What do you two know about throwing a festival?” Thanks to our family, friends, the Swedesboro and surrounding communities and the Facebook and Instagram universe of followers you helped us prove that once again, this land and individuals with boyhood dreams and determination can make things happen and the Sunflower Festival was a success! We think Grandpa Shoemaker would be incredibly proud of these new #RandomActsofFarmage.