We are in the region, on the other side of knoxville, but have explored that area some.
Greater Knoxville is an interesting social amalgam. Its got enough old school country folk to have stability. But it has crunchy ecosensitive areas as well. Rutledge is squarely old school on the whole. But not hateful. Many families from out of town struggle to integrate, so if what you expect is to be courteously tolerated, you'll be fine. But a relatively short drive from downtown and more diversity of every kind.
Given the family dynamics and the business interest nearby, sounds like a really good option to start small if you are comfortable commuting to knox for socialization.
Outside of lockdown (ie, who knows what may change going fwd) there is a farmer's market in downtown knox where you could sell stuff every weekend and meet lots of like minded folks.
Check out three rivers market next time you are in town.
There are lots of organic and eco minded folks. But not a thriving permie community per se.