The family recently moved from a subdivision in Kennesaw to a large tract of land in Marietta at the base of Kennesaw Mountain.
“My husband’s family — his mother’s family and father’s family — were all farmers. He visited those as a child. He had always had an interest in having his own farm,” said Lisa, an interior designer who owns Eye for Design.
But with three sons, Mitchell 18, Reese, 15, and Cameron, 13, who attend North Cobb Christian School, she was concerned about moving too far out in the country because of school and sports activities. “I didn’t want to be too remote,” she said.
The couple happened across a 7.5-acre tract. The property contained a lake and it bordered a subdivision. “We were instantly attracted to it,” she said.
After purchasing the tract and building their home, the family moved in November 2012.
“We can be part of the street, part of the neighborhood but still enjoy our privacy,” Lisa said.
The land contains a lot of pasture that reminded the Parkes of a former home they owned in Lexington, Kentucky.
“You walk outside our yard and you feel like you’re in Kentucky,” said Lisa, who continues the tradition of Derby parties in her new home.
Perry saw the potential of the open spaces. “My husband saw the land and he saw he could have his farm. The first thing he did before we built was start planting the trees. He started with the gardens,” she said.
“We wanted our kids to grow up knowing how to work, not just be given everything. We wanted them to have a sense of pride knowing they could grow their own food and live off the land,” she said.
The family installed many features to make the home efficient, such as solar panels, a metal roof to reflect the sun, spray insulation, special sealer to make the home airtight and free of holes and cracks, and geothermal heating and cooling.
“We tried to go as green as possible,” Lisa said.
The Parkes live a sustainable life as much as possible. “We always felt (living sustainable life) was important. We wanted to teach our children that. We’ve always been nature lovers and want to protect the environment as much as we can and want our kids to grow up with those same values,” she said.
The Parkes enjoy a town and country lifestyle.
“Here we are in the middle of Marietta with this prime property. We go in the backyard, and it’s like Narnia,” Lisa said.