Norma Burns, who has run Bluebird Hill Farm in Bennett for 18 years, said she wants to hand the property over to a couple ready for the challenges of farm life, and interested families need only submit an $300 entry fee, a resume, and a 200-word essay about why they would be ideal to run the farm.
Burns, who is accepting entries at bluebirdhillfarmessaycontest.com, said essays have already started pouring in and the contest isn’t over until June 1.
“The first person who called said, ‘Is this for real?’ And I said, ‘This is for real.’ For sure,” Burns told WNCN-TV.
“As soon as it went out it just kind of exploded,” Burns said. “I’ve heard from people I haven’t heard from in 20 years, calling and saying ‘Oh I wish I could have that farm. Most of them are too old. So it’s just been a real surprise. A pleasant surprise.”
Burns told The Citizen-Times of Asheville that she is seeking a “committed couple” to run the farm because experience has taught her that it’s too much for a single person to handle.
“It’s too much work for one person. I’ve worked from dawn till dark for most of the 18 years. My body won’t let me do it anymore,” Burns said.
“To me, there’s no better calling in life than raising organic food,” Burns said. “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.”