RODDY, GEORGIA: Green Acres Farm, formerly known as Tom Sawyer Farm, always seems to have something going on. Be it growing and picking peaches in the summer, planting, harvesting and working with all kinds of berries and other produce or hosting festivals with local musicians, local vendors and local cooks, The Green Acres Farm at 952 Empire-Chester Highway in Cochran is the place to be.
Owned and operated by James “Earl” and Leigh Ann Greene, the farm has revitalized the small rural community of Roddy, and put an interest back on the idea of “family farming.”
Earl, according to his wife, Leigh Ann, “was born in Roddy. He began working for Mr. Tom(Sawyer, the farm’s former owner) because his daddy worked for Mr. Tom. Mr. Tom even worked for Earl’s great-grandfather, Thomas Greene. It’s a long, intertwined family affair.”
Leigh Ann added, “Our purpose is to provide fresh, sustainable fruit and other produce by using best practices to ensure availability of affordable food while promoting health and wellness of your family and ours.”
Family is very close to Leigh Ann’s heart which makes the vision she and Earl have for the farm ideal. “We want to turn the focus of communities around us back to the ‘family farm.’ Shop local, eat local. At the same time, we want to increase the awareness and education of growing practices for food crops.”
Before the name change and change of ownership, the farm was well-known for its peach crop. “We plan to keep the peaches … it will take several years to rehabilitate the trees, as well as add new trees,” Leigh Ann stated.
She continued, “Once a peach tree is planted, it takes anywhere from four to seven years for the tree to be at full production. There is a lot that goes into peaches.”
The Greenes have also added some new ‘attractions’ to the farm’s activities. “We have added lots! A Fall Frenzy, Christmas Lights and now a local arts and crafts festival.”
On Saturday, September 28, beginning at 10 am., the farm will be the site for a music festival and BBQ cook-off. According to Leigh Ann, “The cook-off portion of the event is non-sanctioned, but will offer cash pay-out based on blind judging. This is not a professional competition. A People’s Choice Award will be presented to those teams willing to participate. There will also be arts and crafts exhibits, food, Kiddie Korner, and live entertainment throughout the day provided by The Matt Brantley Band, Maples Crown, The Lee Jessup Band, and Mid-Life Chryslers.” Fall Frenzy at the farm will follow the following weekend.
In the Roddy community, for years, the Tripp family – down the road from the Greene’s – would host a Christmas light spectacular. When the Tripps had to step away from hosting the event, the Greenes took it over. “We did that for the same reason we got the farm – to breathe life back into our community,” Leigh Ann said.
“Our community needs positivity and happiness and traditions,” she remarked, continuing, “And just because folks age and are unable to continue things doesn’t mean it has to stop.”
For the future plans at Greene Acres Farm, Leigh Ann said, “We plan to continue as we have been doing. We tripled our strawberry plants to serve our customers better.” She did mention that the farm would be providing fresh fruit to some of the local schools.
“There is a recording on 478.230.4124, but we rarely answer that phone,” she laughed, “It rings a lot.”