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UPDATE: Bluebird Hill Farm Essay Contest Eliminates Age Range for Entries, Defines What “The Farm” Includes

Aerial view of Bluebird Hill Farm.

Aerial view of Bluebird Hill Farm

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 “We assumed everyone entering would conform to the age range we indicated,” she said, “We have rescinded any mention of it in the rules since age, by itself, was never an issue or criterion; experience and capability are.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 ktbug74@gmail.com. “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.”

For more information on the Essay Contest, go to www.bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com and watch the farm’s Facebook page. Questions should be submitted via Facebook.

logoAbout Bluebird Hill Farm:

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.


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A Gift of Good Land: Bluebird Hill Farm Announces Essay Contest for Aspiring Organic Farmers

The owner of the Bennett, NC,  farm will award

full ownership to the winning couple.

farmhouse-lavender

Norma Burns, owner and operator of Bluebird Hill Farm in Bennett, NC, is holding a 200-word essay contest to award full ownership of her picturesque, 12.88-acre USDA Certified Organic farm in Bennett, NC, to a couple of aspiring farmers. The topic for the 200-word essay is: Why We Want to Own and Operate Bluebird Hill Farm. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2017.

1-monarda-barn“To me, there’s no better calling in life than raising organic food,” said Burns, an award-winning architect-turned-farmer. “I’m looking for a like-minded couple who have experience and training in organic farming and are willing and able to put in the long days and hard work that farming requires. The only thing they don’t have is an actual farm. I want to make it possible for these new farmers to get started.”

After nearly 18 years of running Bluebird Hill Farm — growing herbs, 3-aerial-view_2specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts, and food products – Burns is ready to move back to Raleigh and into a more urban lifestyle. But she wants to leave her beloved farm in the care of a “committed couple of any description with the life experience and physical stamina that active farming requires,” she said. And she’s insisting on a committed couple because “experience has shown that Bluebird Hill Farm can’t be operated successfully by a single individual.”

The winning couple will receive the Certificate of Title, free and clear, to Bluebird Hill Farm, which, according to Burns, has been estimated to be worth $450,000. The property is also subject to an agricultural conservation easement.

2-aerial-view_1Calling her essay contest “A Gift of Good Land,” in homage to American novelist, poet, and environmental activist Wendell Berry, Burns has established a website dedicated to the contest – www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com — that explains all the details about the prize, including the eligibility requirements, entry fee, and how to enter.

Burns will not be involved in the selection process, she noted. Instead, a panel of judges consisting of one attorney, one conservationist, and one agricultural professional will choose the winning couple.

Aspiring farmers and others can learn more about Bluebird Hill Farm and see a gallery of photos on its Facebook page — www.facebook.com/pg/BluebirdHillFarmNC. The essay contest winners will be announced on the Facebook page on June 30th.

“When my late husband [NCSU Professor Bob Burns] and I purchased the farm, it was a derelict property,” Burns said, “a barn without a roof, a neglected house, and abandoned gardens. After nearly 18 years of work, love, and care, the farm has become what we envisioned it to be. It would mean so much to me to see it in the care of someone committed to its continued improvement.”

For more information on Bluebird Hill Farm’s Essay Contest, visit www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com.

GARLIC, HERBS, FLOWERS copyAbout Bluebird Hill Farm:

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.