February 13, 2017 (Bennett, NC) — After hearing concerns about the age-range stipulation in Bluebird Hill Farm’s Essay Contest (www.bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com) from otherwise qualified candidates, farm owner Norma Burns has decided to eliminate it entirely.
Previously, the Eligibility rules for the contest that Burns is holding to give away her 13-acre farm rather than sell it on the market, stated: “At least one member of the couple must be between the ages of 25 and 50 to ensure that the winning couple has the life experience and physical stamina that active farming requires.”
Burns clarified that she never intended aspiring organic farmers to state their ages. “We assumed everyone entering would conform to the age range we indicated,” she said, “We have rescinded any mention of it in the rules since age, by itself, was never an issue or criterion; experience and capability are. Therefore, those entering the contest must not include their ages in any entry document. Only their names should appear on the entry form.”
For those who submitted essays before the change and did include mention of their age, Burns says they need to email the contest’s clerk, Kay Maddox, at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Kay will intercept those entries and return them unopened so the sender can eliminate mention of age,” she said.
Burns also noted some confusion concerning what’s included in the word “farm” — just the farmable land? the land and outbuildings? the farmhouse, too?
“To clarify what we feel is expressed on the website, Bluebird Hill Farm includes the gardens, land, outbuildings, the equipment that’s named and shown on the website, and the house, as well as the furnishings named in the photos of its interior,” she said. “Miscellaneous tools and additional furnishings that are too numerous to name are also included. All of it is going to the winner of the essay contest.”
Owned and operated by Norma DeCamp Burns, Bluebird Hill is a small USDA Certified Organic farm that specializes in growing herbs, specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts and food products. The farm incorporates the principles of permaculture to maximize the use of space in its raised beds. Burns grows many types of fruits and vegetables, emphasizing diversity and quality over quantity. The farm is located in Bennett, NC.