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North Carolina farm essay contest

If you ever dreamed of owning your own small farm, there's an opportunity in rural Chatham County, North Carolina.

If you ever dreamed of owning your own small farm, there's an opportunity in rural Chatham County, North Carolina.

You'll have to write an essay and a small check.

The farm's owner is having a contest.

And whoever wins gets the farm, mortgage-free!

She doesn't want the farm to go to just anyone.

Spend any time out here, where lunch traffic is the rural mail carrier and the nearest neighbor is across rolling pastures,
and you can't help but wonder, "You're gonna leave this? All this?"

How could you leave the pretty red barn, the pond, the bed of garlic, the field of lavender, the solitude?, "So why did it come to this? ha, ha, ha, ha! age."

Norma Burns, a widow, lives alone here at Bluebird Hill Farm.

Giving it TLC is just too much, "Everybody says it's so serene and it is when you sit on the porch at the end of the day, but not in between. Not when you're working," said Burns.

So, this former architect is giving away the farm to the winner of an essay contest, "All of it. Everything. Almost 13 acres. 12.68."

Two-hundred words, a $300 entry fee she hopes to use those fees to pay off the mortgage on the $450,000 farm.

The theme: Why you want to own a small, organic farm.

The rules: It's for a couple, with one person between 25 and 50.

"And I really wanted to do something for young people who deserve to have a place," explained Burns.

"It takes so much to grow things," for more than 18 years, she's grown things out here.

And she's determined to see the farm remain a farm.

Burns said, "Just pass it on to someone who's got the strength and energy and will to take it on and make it better than it is."

Spend any time out here, and you might just long to spend a lifetime.

Burns says she needs 1,500 entries to cover the mortgage and provide $50,000 to help the new owners get started.

If she doesn't get enough, the fees will be refunded.

Entries can be submitted until June 1st.