Hickman County has long been one of the best places in Tennessee, and arguably the country, for individuals and families to start a homestead or CSA market garden.
There are small farms around here like Bountiful Blessings that have been serving customers as far as Nashville through their CSA program and MPS Farms that have been providing non-GMO quality animal feed, flour, and oils for more than two decades. The list of homesteaders and market gardeners in Hickman County continues to grow, especially following the back to the country and back to the land movements sparked by the pandemic.
Here is just a sampling of the homesteaders and CSA market gardeners in and around Hickman County:
Hickman County has a lot to offer current and aspiring homesteaders and market gardeners including affordable housing costs, immediate access to valuable resources and experts, and a strong community of homesteaders that share the same interests.
The real estate market isn’t quite as volatile as it is in Davidson County and surrounding Middle Tennessee counties. With a median house listing of $269K, Hickman County has some of the cheapest land and housing within an hour’s drive to Nashville. Other lucrative markets for CSA gardeners like Spring Hill, Franklin, and Leiper’s Fork can be reached easily as well.
This is one of the few places where you can still find undeveloped land at an affordable price and build a home with minimal restrictions, fees, and bureaucratic red tape. Currently, the county allows landowners to put up temporary housing such as an RV or camper for up to 18 months while their permanent residence is under construction. Hollowtop Farms is a 5-acre permaculture farm managed by a millennial couple, Matt and Gabrielle Hundley, who built their homestead and farm from the ground up for less than $65K in Hickman County.
Once you’re here, you’ll discover a new person or business who can help you achieve your homesteading and market garden goals everyday. Farmers Friend, a company that develops tools and supplies for small farmers, is headquartered in Centerville, Tennessee. They are innovators within the small farm industry and have changed the game for many small farmers in areas including weed management, crop protection, irrigation, and harvest. Although their products are shipped all over the world, they’re made right here in Hickman County.
The Back to the Land Festival is a celebration of homesteading hosted in Hickman County during the fall each year. Its mission is to help people make a living from their homestead and to show that regenerative agriculture practiced on a small-scale to serve local communities is an answer to the problems of food scarcity, obesity, and other looming national and global threats. The three-day festival features live music, speakers, demonstrations, and local vendors.
Many people who are interested in market gardening and homesteading are also looking to get involved in the homeschool community. In Hickman County, that community not only exists, but it is also strong. There are homeschool groups that meet regularly on multiple sides of the county–Choice Homeschool to the east in Hohenwald and another group to the west in Fairview. Families engaged with the Hickman County Home Educators Facebook Group meet weekly and go on field trips monthly. Residents of Hickman County also use a wide range of homeschool programs and curriculum including AliYah Academy, Tennessee Connection Academy, Acellus Academy, Homelife Academy, and others.
As you start your homesteading or market garden venture, you can always reach out to other local small farmers because everyone is friendly and wants to help their neighbors succeed.
Experience this amazing community Hickman County, Tennessee has to offer. Visit the local farmer’s market or order something from one of our homesteads and farms!