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PNW: March 2014

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PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/2/2014, 12:30 am

Whew! I've been waiting for March to come so I could start a new thread. This is the time of year things really get into gear for our spring gardens!

I picked up a new packet of Oregon Sugar Pod II's and my younger daughter is itching to get out there and plant them with me. Hopefully after church tomorrow we'll get a couple of squares in. I didn't do peas last year in the spring because I was moving garden spaces out of the ground and into my new table tops. They were missed!

I was going to link to the Mother Earth News "What to Plant Now" calendar, but discovered they've gotten all fancy on me since last time I looked it up. Now you have to enter your zip code and they "use historical data from your local weather station to calculate the best range of planting dates for your location". But you have enter your e-mail address to see it. You can opt for e-mail reminders of the planting schedules. Nice. Here's the Pacific Northwest page where you can read about it and give it a try.

Directly outdoors I'm thinking lettuce, arugula, peas, broccoli, kale, radish, spinach...

If you want to start your own peppers and tomatoes from seed for your summer garden, now is the time for that.

What's everyone doing right now with broccoli and cauliflower? My charts show them every which way for March depending on which one you look at: indoors from seed, directly outdoors, outdoor under cover, transplants outdoors. *lol* Gotta look up my last frost date and figure it out. My goal this year with broccoli is to keep the cabbage moths at bay and actually get some broccoli! The caterpillars are easily controlled with BT, but I have to be diligent about spraying weekly and last year when I grew them in my fall garden I didn't keep up with it.

Yucky day today, but was beautiful the day before. That's spring in the PNW; gotta grab those dry spells and make the best of them. Happy gardening y'all!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  boffer on 3/2/2014, 1:59 pm

@gwennifer wrote:...What's everyone doing right now with broccoli and cauliflower?...

I've been starting some every week indoors.  My January starts are just about ready for transplanting.

Our late winter/early spring weather varies so much from year to year that I don't look at the charts much anymore for cool crops.  Plant them, and they will grow: slowly if the weather is cool; quickly if the weather is warm.

We'll know the best time to plant cool crops about 30 days after it's come and gone!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/2/2014, 8:16 pm

Ya for a March thread! this means winter is almost over!!

In our green house we have onions and leeks looking good looking like tall grass so had to give them another hair cut...this time I did notice the onions stalks are getting a tad bit thicker and I think soon we shall be able to plant them out doors as soon as hubby gets my new *raised* SFG beds filled up with added compost. 

 The beds are not new.... he raised them another 8 inch's for me  Very Happy Not sure if we should mix it all up with the old MM or just layer it on top.  There is a LOT of worm activity and I don't want to disturb them. I have been pondering if we should take the old MM out.... put in the new compost mix, and then add the old MM back on top.  what do you all think? 

We are not adding any extra peat, because the bagged compost we purchase is always heavy in peat.  Our compost mix will be made up from our own home made compost, mushroom compost and bagged compost from the garden store.  I HATE buying compost, but I know we wont have enough to raise these two beds, plus hubby is adding on to our 1x8 so we can turn it into a SFG herb area  Very Happy I want most of our homemade compost to go into the first 4x4 SFG beds so they are nine and rich for our summer growing of corn, squash.....the herbs in our new beds wont be as picky  Wink 

the cole crop seedlings are doing well in the green house and the sugar snap peas need to be transplanted as soon as the weather is a tad bit warmer....pretty soon they are going to need something to climb on  Shocked 

I couldn't help my self....I started the tomatoes....only because the lettuce and spinach is already ready to go out to the green house....this opens up the lights for the peppers and tomatoes......eek....been hearing rumors of an early summer.....will see......

our seed potatoes are screaming to go out and be planted already......eeek.....hubby
and I are not as young feeling as we use to be and between the weather and everything else that needs to get done...well... Razz 

our next step is the herbs.....what herbs do you start under lights and which ones do you find grow just fine being direct sown? how do I figure that out? we are going to be growing about 25 or so herbs.....

happy gardening
rose....who is listening to the wind and rain today......yuck

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thanks for link to Mother Earth News

Post  kauairosina on 3/2/2014, 8:38 pm

Some strange things at first sight  Apples?  Not here.  But it looks like it will give me ideas about what to plant when.  We plant everything all the time but some volunteer tomatoes are showing signs of nasty stuff on the tomatoes.  Never saw anything like it.  They get all rotten at the stem and I have to remove them.   

Looks like a fun resource.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/2/2014, 9:09 pm

@kauairosina wrote:Some strange things at first sight  Apples?  Not here.  But it looks like it will give me ideas about what to plant when.  We plant everything all the time but some volunteer tomatoes are showing signs of nasty stuff on the tomatoes.  Never saw anything like it.  They get all rotten at the stem and I have to remove them.   

Looks like a fun resource.

Haha. I noticed the apples too and also thought it was strange.  Laughing 

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/3/2014, 5:37 pm

Broccoli and Cauliflower? They are in the greenhouse. They spent too long in the people house and some of them have scary long stems. They seem to be doing ok but it is probably too early to tell.

Herbs over heat? Basil. The rest I either winter sow or buy as plants.

I had planned to put my greens under a portable poly cold-frame to celebrate the new moon, but alas, there was snow. I have not put them out yet. Parsley either. Now that I think about it, I have not given the onions a hair cut yet.....all because I didn't want to go out in the snow.

My soil cube mix was flooded because of a cracked tote lid. There was not much left, maybe enough for two to four trays of cubes. Still made me grumpy. Ray took me out to buy a new tote and stuff for fresh mix. But dang-nabbit, I don't want to go out in the snow to mix the mix =} Gonna have to get-er-done pretty soon, I have tomatoes that want to be started.

Debs..... class is in PE and devotions, so here I am on the net

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/3/2014, 11:00 pm

Happy birthday to me! Girls' school had an emergency closure so my plans had to change. First day of the year to hit 60 degrees F.  sunny  We all went outside and prepped our garden boxes and then planted peas, broccoli, radishes, green onions, and lettuce. Oh the beautiful optimism that a freshly planted garden represents! May I have the patience and dedication to fight the slugs and bugs, water regularly, prune judiciously, and replenish nutrients. Mama wants some homegrown veggies!

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PNW ??

Post  gategitter on 3/3/2014, 11:14 pm

ok soooo hate to ask but ..... What does PNW stand for.  Took me a while to get SFG !!!!!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/3/2014, 11:40 pm

@gategitter wrote:ok soooo hate to ask but ..... What does PNW stand for.  Took me a while to get SFG !!!!!
No worries gategitter. PNW stands for Pacific Northwest. On the homepage of the forum, you can see all these different subforums: First the "Square Foot Gardening" section, then you'll find "Seed Traders Corner", and then "Topical", and then "Regional Forums" and last "International Forums". I'm the Regional Host for the Pacific Northwest region, and I always like to have a monthly post where other PNW'ers can complain about the rain chat, and also if I ever have information specific to our region I always will preface the post title with PNW. That way if you see the thread come up in the "Latest Topics" column on the left, you'll have a clue right off the bat whether or not you want to bother taking a look. As things pick up for the 2014 gardening year, you may notice other regions doing the same thing (prefacing their thread titles with their region name).

Of course, anyone is welcome to comment on any thread! It's just a way to encourage community. Members have occasionally been able to meet up and see each other's gardens and what-not so it's pretty cool.

Welcome to the forum!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gategitter on 3/4/2014, 12:13 pm

Ha Ha !! I see.. makes perfect sense now !!  That would make me a SPG !!!  hahaha South Plains Gardener   Learn something new every day !!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/4/2014, 3:34 pm

Familygardening -- that greenhouse sure keeps you busy early in the season! How wonderful to be able to do so much already!

gwennifer -- Happy birthday to you!

I think it may be time to get my peppermint plants the heck out of their tiny container and into a bigger one, to eventually be planted outside. I want soooooo much peppermint this year. And I may plant it outside in the wild behind the house. I don't care what it invades.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/4/2014, 7:45 pm

Debs so sorry to read about losing all your cube making soil  Sad bummer!  We were shocked to see snow on the ground on your FB page pics ....wow....we are neighbors but I guess enough distance to keep the snow to the north.....hope it warm up a bit for you so you can get out and get some dirt under your nails  Very Happy 

Gwennifer......60 degrees??  Shocked were you able to get all those yummy veggie seeds sown? 

Marc....what's your plans for all your mint your going to grow?  My daughter is crazy about mint so this year we plan on grow more too....but we are going to put them into pots  Very Happy this year we want to dry more mint to use for tea but also would like to make some kind of syrup with them.....funny about you taking them to the back forest....LOL...we have been pondering on sowing some Comfrey in the woods near our house as we really want to grow it for compost tea and to feed to the chickens and from what I have read it needs to be planted into the ground so it can go deep with its roots and pull up all the goodness into its leaves....so planting it in a pot or container doesn't seem like it would work to well....I have read its invasive so we are a bit scared to plant it in our gardens.....maybe on the other side of our front fence where we are going to plant wild flowers and sunflowers.....I wonder though if it would creep under the fence and into our BTE growing area ??

well today was a good day in the family gardens....was able to get our SFG 4x4 beds raised and filled and the sugar snap pole peas out from the green house and into one of the SFG beds.....also direct sown some bush sugar snap peas called *sugar daddy* that we had purchased for our fall peas......wanted to give them a try this spring and see how they taste  Very Happy 

on the to do list is to get started on starting our herbs to go under the lights, make the new herb beds and fill them...... and to get our taters into the ground!

hope to get these things done tomorrow  Very Happy 

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/4/2014, 8:11 pm

I thought about doing that with comfrey too. We have nothing trees over duff in the back yard, which is almost entirely a wild hill, so there's nothing to lose.

With my mint, I'm going to see if my apple mint survived this winter, but mint grows natively here, so it probably did. It's in a pot, I guess about three gallons. This would make the third year for that plant. It thrived in a mostly shady spot. And the peppermint, I'd like to take cuttings from after it gets established in some pots I'll keep handy for grazing on. I'll plant those cuttings in a little pot for a while and then transfer them to the yard, and maybe to a couple of other pots too. I found fresh mint goes great in tea and coffee, so don't think you have to dry them first. Letting them steep for a few minutes releases plenty of flavor.

Familygardening -- gotta love those peas! Thanks for reminding me ... I really should plant mine tomorrow too. I should plant those Alisa Craig onions too.

I went outside to pick up the dog poop and took a look at my backyard container garden. Boy the elephant garlics look happy! And my brussels sprout plant put on three new leaves, all big and ... green ... though it's a red plant. Guess the leaves turn color later. Nothing else is doing anything ... I'm most surprised at my kale. It either never germinated or stayed fingertip size and eventually died. I thought it was supposed to be so winter-hardy. And I planted some past the cold snap and ... still they did poorly. Maybe the seed company I bought them from has something to do with it? I dunno.

My lamb's lettuce (found out I'd been incorrectly calling it lamb's quarters all this time) is growing very slowly but nicely. We've had some beautiful warm blue days, but most of the time the sun has been shy and it has been a bit rainy. It germinated so poorly, in two or three successive sowings last fall, that eventually I dumped the rest of the packet in the middle of a large pot, the kind big enough to hold a small tree, and just hoped there would be some survivors from what looked like a very poorly germinating packet.

Now almost every plant planted around the pot failed to germinate (most be colder there?), but the middle of the pot looks like a carpet of small leaves. I'm not sure how much to thin them out. They're too small to use for micro-greens unless you want a truly micro experience. But I don't want to eat them with a tweezer. Still, I'm happy that they finally germinated.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/6/2014, 8:44 pm

Another class today. First half day spent on weed management, which was pretty cool. But I find lots of pictures of things like bugs and weeds less than useful, and so the information about the bug or weed or whatever can be hard to understand and retain.

Example: Three common garden plants with small roundish leaves. The picture for each shows the plant from maybe four feet away, and there may be little or nothing in the picture to give the leaves a sense of scale. A trowel, a ruler, a pen, a coke can, whatever. That makes it hard to get a working grasp of what the leaves really look like. Or the stems in relationship to the leaves. I'm only getting a shot of the mature plant from a distance. This can make even what seem to otherwise be excellent and comprehensive reference books less than useful.

The solution may be in today's modern electronics -- e-book versions in which you can blow up the picture. I've already seen that it is sometimes possible to blow up a picture to a bigger size than you'll see it in the physical book. Also, it's a lot easier to carry around a tablet or an iPhone/blackberry than a book, and you're more likely to have one on you. When I go down to the garden, I've never taken a book with me, but I could take a tablet or phone.

Unfortunately, from what I've seen, gardening books are lagging when it comes to e-versions. I'll bet a sizeable chunk of the great reference books I saw today aren't available in e-book formats yet.

Anyway, so much for my frustrations. I'll just have to bring some of my actual weeds into the extension service plant clinic to see what the experts say up close and personal.

Otherwise, the weed management class was useful and good. The next class was the first of a two-parter on bugs. Not on killing them -- that was last week. Just identifying them.

Very detailed. Considering all the pests I had last year, I'd like to know a lot about this, and maybe even retain a little of it before my brain does a memory dump to concentrate on remembering what the actors said on Burger King commercials or whatever other garbage I find winds up in there somehow.

And I got the rest of my onion order -- a pretty fat bunch of Red Zeppelin onions. They supposedly store unusually well for red onions. Boy did I go wild for onions this year! But really, I could see going through a half an onion a day, easily. Especially considering how much they shrink down when you cook them. And I use caramelized onions as a flavor base for pretty much every cooked dish. Even ones I've already added onions to in a different way -- like stews, where I might add big chunks of raw ones early on and then add caramelized ones later to fill out the broth's flavor profile.

Tomorrow a couple of friends and I are going to a guest seminar at the OSU Extension office given by an employee of Territorial Seeds, a seed merchant local to Oregon, who will talk to us about locally adapted plants and seeds. Free to the Master Gardeners, and it sounds like very valuable info.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  walshevak on 3/7/2014, 12:09 am

Sounds like you have been busy.  Territorial Seeds is a good company.  I've ordered from them.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/7/2014, 12:56 pm

Yep, I also buy Territorial Seeds. Anyone in Vancouver reading this, you can buy a small selection of their seeds locally at Yard & Garden land nursery on Hwy 99 just north of 99th street.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2014, 12:57 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Another class today.  First half day spent on weed management, which was pretty cool.  But I find lots of pictures of things like bugs and weeds less than useful, and so the information about the bug or weed or whatever can be hard to understand and retain.  

Example:  Three common garden plants with small roundish leaves.  The picture for each shows the plant from maybe four feet away, and there may be little or nothing in the picture to give the leaves a sense of scale.  A trowel, a ruler, a pen, a coke can, whatever.  That makes it hard to get a working grasp of what the leaves really look like.  Or the stems in relationship to the leaves.  I'm only getting a shot of the mature plant from a distance.  This can make even what seem to otherwise be excellent and comprehensive reference books less than useful.

.

Marc, I know what you mean about the photos. I swear that they find a photo and then the next resource uses the same photo, and they are shot from too far away. If it wasn't for the internet where you can find "Photos of Weed X" and gets lots of views, it would be hard to really know what a real Weed X would look like.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/7/2014, 3:12 pm

Yup, exactly. Googling seems to be the way to go. Being able to see so many photos, and enlarge them if necessary, makes such a difference.

And boy, to have that available right in the yard or garden? I really want to get a tablet someday, so I can do that. Better than lugging three or four reference books around with you every time you go out to tend the garden.

Much of this is likely best mentored and taught hands-on. It's hard to grasp fine distinctions between organisms at a distance, through books. Research may lead one to confuse an organism for another and fill one's head with junk that can be hard to clean out and later replace with the correct knowledge. But a mentor or teacher holding a plant in her hands, taking a question, and poking through its leaves with her fingers, saying, "Here is where you look ... see that?", makes learning easy.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2014, 5:16 pm

Marc, I've found YouTube is also very good. I had to look up and then describe over the phone to my daughter "how to give a horse a shot." Try that one!! I learned about pruning tomato suckers and growing zucchini vertically from YouTube.

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/8/2014, 12:09 am

Wow, what gives. Just lost a big post on the presentation Andrea Mull from Territorial Seeds just gave at the OSU Extension facility. Not going to write it again. This after noticing in another thread a suggestion to a newcomer to mouse over topics at left to see some info -- which for some reason is no longer working in firefox for me. Is the forum busted somehow using Firefox?

Anyway, saw some classmates and friends there. Nice presentation. I especially love and appreciate, after most of a working lifetime in the big city, how gardening here is so ruthlessly non-competitive.

sanderson -- I love youtube gardening videos so much I recently had to delete a couple of gigs of them from my laptop. I was running out of room!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/8/2014, 11:42 pm

Pouring down rain does not stop our familygardening  Very Happy 

what a yucky day it was today!

got a lot done even in bad weather....we took the sowing indoors  Razz and under the protection of our small green house....even our dogs wanted in  Laughing our Germen Shepherd wanted to help plant carrots and green onions under the protection of the green house....it was cute her going thru my legs to watch me and our son do some direct planting....

we moved our lettuce who now has true leaves and spinach out from under lights and into the green house....

tomato seedlings are starting to show up, so it was time to move them under the lights.....along with our pepper seedlings....

started our herbs....17 of them....have one more to go....missing a plastic container to make it 18 to fit nice in the tray.....

next to do:

start some flower seeds

finish planting our seed potatoes as soon as the weather clears up....hubby said the weather report said it should be getting nicer next week.....I sure hope so

we want to direct sow some radishes, lettuce, spinach, turnips, and transplant some of our kandy onions, green onions, leeks, lettuce and spinach....we hope to also find some Walla Walla starts......

we need to finish up with building our new SFG herb area

level out the compost in the back garden beds to get ready to plant our cole crop seedlings.....and work on getting up all the hoops and buying some more garden cloth....

lots to do.....come on sunshine!!

what is everyone else doing this weekend?

happy gardening
rose

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What's going on this weekend?

Post  Rahab222 on 3/9/2014, 12:13 am

Friday, I finished weeding and hand tilling my sandy loam garden bed (22' long x 7' wide).  I added in lots of chicken manure and compost.  Got half the garden tilled a second time, before it got dark.

I have (3) 4' x 4' boxes planted with potatoes in Mel's Mix.  One of the boxes has absolutely exploded with green plants (I did plant in furrows - 16 plants/box.)  The other two boxes are barely showing the tops of a few plants, but we had a hard freeze come through Houston earlier in the week.  I think these got nipped.  I only covered the potato box that was flourishing with plants because I figured the other two boxes potatoes were still safe under the soil.  Maybe not.  Also covered my 4' x 4' strawberry box.  Strawberries apparently love the Mel's Mix, as does lettuce and onions.  I have two more 4' x 4' strawberry boxes, but I just planted these last fall and will be snipping the flowers off so more energy can go into growing the plant the first year.  The second year box of strawberries is absolutely loaded with strawberries.  For now, I still have this box covered in frost cloth because I have a squirrel that keeps running the back fence line and he's already dug into some of my potato hills.  I have planted LOTS of onions and carrots along both sides of the sandy loam box and my herbs from last year either made it through the winter or are come back from self seeding.

I had my yard man come today and build me another box for tomatoes - 9' long x 4' wide; and another 4' x 4' that will be filled with Mel's Mix and I am going to try tomatoes in the 4' x 4' x 12' deep box.  I am going to put sandy loam in the larger box and put Mel's Mix and compost on top, as I am having to add boxes with the Mel's Mix slowly due to the expense.  A cold front came in around 6 p.m. tonight with rain (good for the garden), so I'm not sure how much work I'll be able to do in the garden tomorrow as the rain is supposed to continue through Sunday.  I need to build some wire cages to go over my strawberries and potatoes.  Maybe I can do that tomorrow.

I've got my tomato and pepper plants on the patio, ready to plant, but I'm waiting on the weather and need to fill the last two boxes.  I can't believe I'm still working on prepping my soil, but that has been the uncharacteristic nature of winter on the Gulf Coast this winter.  It's been a real winter.  I just hope it's not indicative of things to come heat wise this summer.

I've discovered gardening never stops and there's always something to do.  Thank goodness for my yard man.  Otherwise, I'd be in this alone.  May our gardens grow!

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  sanderson on 3/9/2014, 5:04 am

FG & Rehab, You guys have been amazingly busy in your gardens. Make me feel like a slacker. Got 12 Silver Queen seedlings planted and 18 snapdragons teased apart and up-panted. Woopie

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/9/2014, 3:13 pm

Holy cow, you aren't kidding!

Rehab222, that's a lot of square feet you're getting going. And all those potatoes ... what are you going to do with them? Can you eat that many? Especially if they all ripen around something like the same time?

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Re: PNW: March 2014

Post  gwennifer on 3/9/2014, 6:49 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:This after noticing in another thread a suggestion to a newcomer to mouse over topics at left to see some info -- which for some reason is no longer working in firefox for me.  Is the forum busted somehow using Firefox?
I'm unfamiliar with anything happening while mousing over a topic except for it highlighting and the cursor changing, both indicative of finding a hyperlink. But definitely things act up on the forum from time to time. Are you still having issues?

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Re: PNW: March 2014

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