By Ben Lawson
When Jason Sams moved to Seymour in 1994 after leaving the Marine Corps, he found a job in construction, building homes as part of the Carpenter’s Union out of Oak Ridge.
Then the housing market plummeted, dragging the economy with it, and he found himself in a situation where his last four years in construction didn’t even amount to one year’s worth of work. Fortunately, he knew what to do next.
“If I can’t get a job, I’ll create a job,” he said.
So he started saving, and after two years was able to purchase the equipment he needed to open Grasshopper Greens, a fully licensed and insured business that handles a variety of lawn care, tree work, clearing lots, and re-modeling.
The name Grasshopper Greens comes from the mentions of locusts devouring grass in the Bible, which Sams felt was fitting. He’s the sole owner and is normally a one man show, though he would love to have enough work to help create more jobs.
In the meantime, he gets a helping hand from his nine-year-old stepson Logan Maples.
“He’s a super, super good kid. He’s a cool kid and I love him to death,” Sams said.
Maples learns from being part of whatever project Sams is working on, even learning to drive a track hoe at age eight. The experience should come in handy, because Sams created the business with the intention of one day leaving it to Maples.
“Eventually I’ll turn it over to him if he wants it,” he said.
When lawn work cools off after summer, Sams will tap into another project: selling firewood. With over 60 ricks of wood standing by, he hopes to accumulate 200 by Thanksgiving. He also works with C.R.O.S.S. Ministries to provide firewood to needy families in Seymour.
Having lived in the area for over a decade, he’s seen Seymour experience a burst of growth. While he acknowledges the convenience it provides, he said he wouldn’t want it to become overgrown, because he feels this is one of the most beautiful places to live.
Of course, Sams wouldn’t mind growth for Grasshopper Greens either. He’s willing to work six days a week, but would prefer Sunday off, when he and his wife Julie attend Central Point Baptist Church. Other than that, he’s ready to bring on the work.
“I want all I can get,” he said. “If it gets to be too much, I’ll hire more people and buy more equipment if I need to.”
Sams provides free estimates before starting work. For more information, call 865-984-9433.
‘Grasshopper Greens’ Ready for Business
By Ben Lawson