My husband, Ryan, and I founded Opossum Hollow Farm back in 2014 when we decided to leave the city life of Atlanta and retreat to the mountains (the holler) of Northeast Tennessee.
We both had jobs working in the music industry involving late nights and long hours; we were very burnt out with the lifestyle. We knew our family owned a small house on nearly 18 acres of land in the mountains but no one had visited it in a few years. Desperate for a change, we packed up and moved to the house, sight unseen. When you’re coming from the city, you think 18 acres of flat land, right? WRONG! When we arrived, all of our business ideas went out the window when we saw the completely wooded property; you can’t grow massive amounts of vegetables and fruit in the middle of the woods on steep hillsides. Over time, we cleared enough land to start growing some easy veggies like squash, zucchini, and cucumbers.
The idea sparked to turn our fruits and vegetables into sellable products. Our very first products were zucchini bread, pickles, and pear jam, which we sold at the Johnson City Farmers Market. The response to the quality of our products was overwhelming, thus fueling more ideas on how to get our name out there. Could this really become our business? Once the market season was over in 2014, we were bombarded with questions on how people could enjoy our products during the offseason, and that’s where the deliveries came into play.
We decided that Thanksgiving was the best time to try and start up the delivery side of our business. We offered pies, pickles, bread, fudge, jams, and more. Our first delivery was a Thanksgiving delivery to Knoxville, where Ryan grew up most of his adult life, and Nashville, where Savannah grew up. These “city kids” who decided to start a country farm business blew everyone away. The demand continued to grow over the off-season, and once spring rolled back around, we had more ideas than ever, although not enough garden space to make those dreams come true.
Four years (and 1 baby, Opal) later, we began outsourcing most of our vegetables and fruits from local farmers in order to meet the demand of our growing business. We have always tried to keep everything as local as possible, so the money stays within our community.
At the current moment, we run the entire business out of our 900 square foot house. We are constantly working on new products and pumping out our staple products we just can’t seem to keep in stock. Our jalapeno jam sells so fast, we can barely get it to the market before it’s sold out. During peak market season, we bake around 200 loaves of bread a week while Ryan pickles at least 40 pounds of cucumbers and makes 4-6 cases of the jams that are in season.
We currently do deliveries about every 2-3 weeks in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville, and every 6 weeks in Nashville. Our current inventory includes an array of items. We offer six different hot sauces: scotch bonnet, jalapeno habanero, smoked jalapeno and onion, peach habanero, chocolate habanero, and “The Reaper,” which is a Carolina reaper sauce. We also sell smoky and spicy beef jerky, grape jelly, jalapeno jam, pear jam, spiced pear jam, pig and chicken spice rub. In addition, we offer an assortment of bread: banana, chocolate chip banana, zucchini, carrot, pumpkin, and cushaw.
With the holidays coming up, we will be adding pies, fudge, apple butter, and more!
If you are interested in being included in our delivery runs, please send us a message on Facebook, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love meeting and developing relationships with each one of our cherished customers. Y’all are like family!