Mabry keeps family tradition of farming alive in east Cobb
September 01, 2013 12:13 AM | 3252 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Marietta ‘Gentleman-Farmer’ Jim Mabry, prepares his self-pay fruit and vegetable stand for regular customers on the ground that has been in his family for more than 100 years. Mabry grows sweet corn, tomatoes, apples, figs, peaches, pears and black-berries among other crops including his own line of honey. <br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Marietta ‘Gentleman-Farmer’ Jim Mabry, prepares his self-pay fruit and vegetable stand for regular customers on the ground that has been in his family for more than 100 years. Mabry grows sweet corn, tomatoes, apples, figs, peaches, pears and black-berries among other crops including his own line of honey.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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It is very unusual to find a farm in east Cobb. Jim Mabry, 76, and his wife, Levada, live on the Mabry family farm that is tucked away in a bustling residential area, surrounded by subdivisions and passing cars on Sandy Plains Road.

“I like the farm. I like the land more than I like money so I didn’t sell it,” said Jim Mabry, whose grandfather, Virgil Mabry, established the farm in 1904.

Virgil Mabry paid $100 for Land Lot 178, and later he and his brother purchased another 180 acres making the 220-acre farm.

Throughout the years, the Mabry family has raised cattle and horses and farmed the land, producing fruits and vegetables, timber and cotton.

“The Mabry family has been farming (Mabry Farm) for 109 years,” said Jim Mabry, who was born and raised on the farm.

He was in the first graduating class of Sprayberry High School when it was located on Cobb Parkway North/US41 (now occupied by The Walker School).

The years have seen good times and hard times. Parts of the farm were sold and ownership among family members has changed. One sister, Sue Mabry Harris, sold her ownership of 26.5 acres on the farm to Cobb County for establishment of a passive park named Mabry Park.

Jim and his sister, Betty Mabry Pettett, own the remainder of the farm. She continues a horse operation and growing tomatoes on her 22 acres while Jim farms his 22 acres. Depending on the season, Jim will grow blackberries, figs, sweet corn, tomatoes, apples, peaches, and Muscadine grapes among others.

“Some of (the fruits and vegetables) is pick your own and some of it, we pick and sell. Everything is sold from a stand on the farm,” Jim said. He and his wife of 56 years have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Jim also continues a 35-year operation of producing honey at the Mabry Farm Apiary. Mabry’s brother-in-law and Mabry’s wife’s uncle started the apiary when they brought some bees to the farm. “After they lost interest in the bees, I decided to become a self-taught beekeeper,” he said.

“I guess I like hard work,” Jim said.

Mabry Farm is at 4480 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta. For more information on Mabry Farm, visit mabryfarm.org.

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