You could win this beautiful organic farm with your best 200-word essay

February 9, 2017 by  
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Have you always dreamed of running a little organic farm , but could never afford land prices? Norma Burns, owner of Bluebird Hill Farm in North Carolina , is planning to give her 12.88 acre farm away for next to nothing. Aspiring homesteaders need only submit a $300 entry fee, fill out a brief entry form with their resumes, and pen a 200-word essay titled “Why We Want to Own and Operate Bluebird Hill Farm.” Burns, an architect and farmer, wants to help out a couple embarking on the farming lifestyle by giving away the land she’s owned for nearly 20 years. She 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. The only thing they don’t have is an actual farm. I want to make it possible for these new farmers to get started.” She’ll be moving on to urban life in Raleigh, but wants to leave her farm to a couple who will cultivate and love it. Related: How to get off the grid and live rent-free So she started the Bluebird Hill Farm Essay Contest . The winners will receive the title to the farm, which is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture and worth around $450,000. Those interested can check out pictures of the farm house here . The two-bedroom home features a dining room with antique furniture, kitchen with tons of storage, light-filled day room, what Burns calls an evening room, laundry closet, and front porch. The barn is around 200-years-old , according to Burns, and also houses a garden room and shop. There’s a chicken coop, distiller, greenhouse, and farm cat on the property too. If you have questions, Burns requests you reach out to her through the farm’s Facebook page . Entries must be submitted by mail to Essay Contest, P.O. Box 851, Siler City, NC, 27344, USA. The contest ends June 1, 2017, and winners will be announced around June 30, 2017. + Bluebird Hill Farm Essay Contest + Bluebird Hill Farm Facebook Via The Charlotte Observer Images via Bluebird Hill Farm Facebook

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You could win this beautiful organic farm with your best 200-word essay

Sandia solar glitter can fit into and power devices of any size or shape

February 9, 2017 by  
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Small, lightweight, flexible: these attributes when applied to solar cells hint at a far-off clean-powered future to come. But Sandia National Laboratories is now one step closer to seeing the tiny bendy solar cells they’ve developed, which they call solar glitter, on the market. These energy-generating cells could easily be integrated in small gadgets like drones , satellites , or smartphones. Former Sandia scientist Murat Okandan started his own company, mPower Technology, Inc. , and recently signed a licensing agreement with Sandia for microsystems enabled photovoltaics (MEPV), the technology that makes solar glitter possible. Okandan described the moment as a key milestone, saying, “It is an extremely exciting time in the solar industry with the upcoming critical, rapid change in the worldwide energy infrastructure .” Related: Amazing Glitter-Sized Photovoltaic Cells Look Like Golden Snowflakes MEPV draws on microdesign and microfabrication techniques to create the tiny solar cells that are then are released into a solution much like printing ink. The mix is then printed onto an inexpensive material. mPower will commercialize MEPV as Dragon SCALEs, which Sandia says will “fit into and power devices or sensors of any shape or size.” Dragon SCALEs fold like paper for easy transportation, and could be utilized as portable energy generators. They could be installed more rapidly and cheaply than typical solar power systems. Okandan said Dragon SCALEs are more reliable, with lower energy costs, than the silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells common today. In a statement he said, “The key limitation to silicon is that if you bend and flex it, it will crack and shatter. Our technology makes it virtually unbreakable while keeping all the benefits of high efficiency, high reliability silicon PV. It allows us to integrate PV in ways that weren’t possible before, such as in flexible materials, and deploy it faster in lighter-weight, larger-area modules.” Via Treehugger Images via Randy Montoya/Sandia National Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratories

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Sandia solar glitter can fit into and power devices of any size or shape

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