It’s a part of the American dream, it seems, to be self sufficient, to live off the land on a place out in the country. Lots of folks dream about being a farmer, including a lot of us who write or talk about it. But it takes real money and real commitment, and if you’re not born to it, it’s really hard to get a start on your own slice of heaven.
Well, Norma Burns has been living the life in North Carolina, and has built up a small organic farm outside of Asheville. She’s ready to retire, and she’s willing to give her farm away – to someone who writes a great essay and meets certain requirements.
The farm is Bluebird Hill Farm east of Asheville. It’s a USDA certified organic farm. She grows lavender, vegetables, herbs, and native plants, and it’s a beautiful place, judging from the pictures that are posted online. It’s valued at $450,000, and if you want it, you have to meet certain qualifications. First, you or your partner has to be between the ages of 25 and 50 – as someone has to have the physical stamina to run a farm, and yes, you have to have a partner; it’s too hard to do alone. You will need to agree to keep the farm organic.
You will also need to write an outstanding 200 word essay say why you and your partner want to farm; and plunk down a $300 entry fee then be able to pay closing taxes and fees. Oh, also, you must not contact her by any method but through Facebook – or your entry will be disqualified and your entry fee will not be refunded.
The winner wins the farm, with a free and clear title. Plus, if sufficient entries are received, they will also get $50,000 in cash to use for transition costs. The winner will receive documentation on all aspects of operating the farm, including the organic certification process, and an introduction to Bluebird Hill Farm’s suppliers and community.
The deadline for entries is June 1.
To enter or just to learn more, visit the farm’s facebook page – search for Bluebird Hill Farm – or visit http://www.bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com.