Possum Bottom Farm

Whitwell, TN

Possum Bottom Farm began in 2002 with the purchase of the 70 acre farm property from Art and Betty Matthews. Art, a retired Eastern Airlines Captain, and Betty, a retired Eastern Airlines Flight Attendant decided the upkeep of the property was becoming too much for them to handle as they entered their retirement years. They were ready to sell in early 2001. At the time Susan and I were looking for a piece of property where we could grow our own food, fly airplanes, raise Labradors and live a simple, more relaxed country life. By 2008 we had added raised beds, a greenhouse, chicken coop, fruit trees, berry bushes and grape vines. and were growing most of our own produce, eggs, and fruit. My wife Susan and I really wanted to leave the corporate rat race behind and take our farming passion to the next level, but we needed a unique crop.

An old friend and former business partner began growing mushrooms in 2013. It immediately sparked our interest. As we watched him expand his mushroom operation and seeing his success (and failures) we began studying mushroom cultivation in earnest in early 2014. We read everything we could find about mushrooms and how to grow them. We watched dozens of Youtube videos. We quickly discovered there are a lot of myths floating around about mushroom cultivation. So, we went to study under experts by attending to seminars and workshops, along with internship on Whitemarsh Farm in Wadmalaw, SC. The learning curve was steep. In the beginning the failures were numerous.

Today we cultivate thirtynine species of fungi including 11 strains of shiitake, 12 strains of oyster, along with enoki, nameko, maitake, mukitake, stropharia, lion’s mane, combtooth, reishi, cordyceps, and turkey tail. Our mushrooms can be enjoyed in restaurants in Chattanooga, such as St. John’s and Sluggo’s North, and Hummingbird Pastaria in Signal Mountain. You can also find our mushrooms in fine dining restaurants in Sewanee and Monteagle, such as Pearls Fine Dining, Ivywild, and Highpoint Restaurant.