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PNW: June 2014

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PNW: June 2014

Post  gwennifer on 6/1/2014, 1:10 pm

Peas! I did my first harvest of my Oregon Sugar Pods yesterday morning. Yum! Stir-fry is on the menu this week for sure. Sweet, crunchy, and oh so garden fresh. My radishes were so lame this year, and I never got any lettuce to grow, so this was kind of my first harvest of the gardening year and I'm so happy! At least I can grow peas.

First harvest of cherries from our ultra-dwarf Stella cherry tree too. Still had quite a few fall off and squirrels are helping themselves to others, but we'll get a couple dozen. Purchased three Raspberry Shortcake bushes (dwarf, thorn-less raspberries) at Costco. They are in my barrels that have previously been used for potatoes and corn. I think I'm going to level the area where they are and plant strawberries as a ground cover around them and the cherry tree. Fresh fruit trifecta.

Happy gardening all!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/1/2014, 6:43 pm

All great stuff to have, gwennifer! Grats on your peas!

About half of mine are flowering -- finally. Some are also getting attacked by flea beetles. They are really eating up a storm this year. Not just at my house; we got some brought into the plant clinic too.

The direct-sown dragon-tongue beans have mostly come up. A few duds, oh well. I had cloth over them so the birds wouldn't get them. I put it back over them after watering this morning. Tomorrow I'll go out and plant more. I also have half a dozen "just in case" in jiffy pellets as of yesterday.

The direct-seeded Armenian cucumbers ... well, I think birds got the uncovered seedlings. I saw a few loose seed leaves on the ground but no plants. Sad I've got some in peat pots indoors, and enough seeds to direct-sow again, so I hope between the two, I can eventually get plants big enough for the birds to leave alone.

I was crossing my fingers with the toy choi, as the package said they are very bolt resistant. Not enough, I guess. I think I have plenty of seed, so I may just pull them and replace with something else.

The Marvel of Four Seasons lettuce has adapted to its transplanting. It, the red roma, and the swiss chard are doing well.

The tomatoes I buried in a trench look very nice. I'm a little jealous of the much bigger ones a few different friends have, but then again, they didn't plant them deep or in a trench, so they've got a foot of height going for them that I'm trying to turn into root.

Another friend is going to build up another cinder block planter in his enclosed garden and let me use it for whatever I like. Very nice of him. Of course he can help himself to whatever I grow. He uses such good soil and has full sun with no trees shading his garden, so I think that planter may come to be my biggest success story of the three places I'm planting (my place almost entirely in pots, a friend's in raised beds, and now this new area). He told me it will probably take him all summer to do some painstaking painting work around his house, so I told him I'd help him out as a way of thanking him for granting me the space (and a new bed!) in his garden. I think he wants to build a bed about 4x3 or 4x4.

The peppers are okay enough but not doing much. Nights in the 40's sometimes still. Two "orange glow" watermelon went into a nice sunny bed today. Planted about 25 odds and ends in jiffy pellets yesterday.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/2/2014, 11:48 am

congrats on your peas Gwen!

Marc sounds like you have been busy!.....great to here your 4 season lettuce is doing so well....something always gets to our cucumber and sunflower seeds as they come up!...so frustraiting isnt it  Mad good to hear your tomatoes are doing well....and what an awesome friend you have to build another garden area for you! sweet!

wow what happen to May....cant believe its June already!

our gardens continue to surprise us on how well they are doing even with some bumps in the road  Razz 

SFG bed #1 *Three sisters* ...re-transplanted Painted mountain corn....butternut squash is doing well and we are hoping our scarlet runner beans will get enough sun while this bed stays covered for a while to keep the rats out!...every thing so far looks great!



SFG bed #2 *salad bed* sugar snap peas were so heavy they tiped over  Shocked celery, onions, tomatoes, all doing good....lettuce and spinach is just coming up behind the peas....sorry for the crooked pic!....and yes whats left are stems of marigolds that the slugs ate planted there in the cinder blocks....err



SFG bed #3 *herb bed* ...well sorta LOL  Razz  the left side and the back are mostly herbs.... but the right hand side where I had onions growing wasnt doing so hot....so we decided to relocate the onions and plant the left over Painted mountain corn (not showing in this pic)..... and need to still add a squash and some beans to make a second smaller 3 sisters bed  Very Happy 



our sons self watering container will MM...sugar snap peas, sweetie tomato, onions, sorrel and carrots that do not want to sprout and this is the second sowing for them....errr



our daughters self watering container with MM....lettuce, onions and 1 sugar snap pea



happy gardening
rose who also up loaded a bunch of pictures and updates in the BTE thread if anyone is interested  tongue

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/2/2014, 11:56 am

Hooray for peas!  cheers 
My planting timing must have been jinxed this year.  I had poor germination rates outside, even on second and one third planting.  The same seeds did great in pots in the greenhouse.  

My garden continues to teach me, and this spring has been interesting due to the differences between cultivars that I'm seeing.   (new)=first time growing

Kohlrabi
+ Kongo: harvested and re-planted  (new)
- Early White Vienna: barely bulbing

Cauliflower
+ Snow Crown: growing nicely
- Cloud: rather than curds, they're all getting ricey tips.  Small. (new)

Broccoli
+ Blue Wind: came in nicely, a keeper (new)
+ Veronica:  grows well, a keeper (new)
- Packman: slow, small heads
- Thompson: slow, small heads
I've never been happy with my spring broccoli.  My broccoli has always done best in the fall.  Besides Packman and Thompson, I've also tried Waltham 29 and Umpqua with the same disappointing spring harvests.   So, I'm excited to find 2 cultivars that do well in spring.

Corn
+ Strong Start 7112: planted late Apr, over 90% germination (new)
- Peaches and Cream: (my favorite) several plantings in May, 40%-50% germination.  In past years it has matched what the seed package says: 85%.

Radishes
+ French Breakfast: grew well
- Cherry Belle: uncharacteristically poor growth  thinking 


Veronica Broccoli (a Romanesco) Sometimes called a cauliflower.  To us, it tastes like cauliflower, but the plant has a taller center stalk that is edible, like a broccoli plant.




Cloud cauliflower with ricey tips.


What Cloud cauliflower is supposed to look like::

From TSC catalog:




Corn huts.  4x8 boxes. Grids are 5x10, which makes 9" squares.


The same perspective in May, 2010.  The weeds, weather, and wildlife forced a change.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/2/2014, 12:16 pm

Boffer love the update from you  Very Happy 

Good to know you found some good spring broccoli!! .....we had the rice tips cauliflower before too and we are not sure why that happens.....LOVE your corn huts!!....are they tall enough for your corn to stay in all thru growing season? ...keep us posted because we too have to do something to keep our corn to our selves and not share so much with critters!!....they are coverd so far with garden cloth and hubby was thinking about putting up a electric fence around each bed....excited to see how your does  Very Happy

Our Painted Mountain corn had excellent germination pretty close to a 100 % compared to our standard Kandy corn at about 50%

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/2/2014, 1:06 pm

Rose

The roofs come off, leaving a 'railing' to prevent the stalks from blowing over.






Even with closing up the corn huts at night, the soil temp is still hovering around 60°F, which is about the minimum P&C can germinate in.  I planted extras to transplant into the empty squares.

I'm trying the Strong Start corn for the first time because the description says it can handle cooler soil temps, and it appears to be correct.  Hopefully, it will taste good!

Last year, the cheapest non-GMO local corn I could find was $9/dozen.  The way we eat corn when it's in season, at that price we'd have to take out a second mortgage to afford it!

I forgot to mention, this has been the best year ever for spinach. I was ready to quit trying to grow it because it has been so erratic for me.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/2/2014, 1:51 pm

Boffer we to are having a better spinach year!!...the last 2-3 years was awful...

thanks for the pics on the huts!  now I remember you showing them before  Embarassed it wont work for us as we need something to keep critters from harvesting our corn!

Im not sure how much the corn is but I do know they are GMO free....have you been to this farm before?

Schilter Farm in the Nisqually Valley

https://www.facebook.com/SchilterFamilyFarm?fref=nf
 
happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  mlasnier on 6/2/2014, 2:01 pm

Awesome information and ideas from all of you!  I'm a gardener in Hansville, WA over in Kitsap County.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/2/2014, 2:06 pm

Rose
Make the hut walls taller, or plant shorter corn!  Wink

mlasnier
We look forward to your input as well.  Learning how other gardeners in our region are handling various local issues (like weather) is a great thing.   You'll find this thread in  the PNW forum, about half-way down on the homepage.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/3/2014, 2:09 am

Yay, first actual pods on my pea plants! Very Happy

Some tomatoes that had gotten really yellow and even black are starting to show more normal coloration now that the evenings are out of the 40's. Hope they're not (or not *too*) stunted. Tomatillos have been weathering the cold nights in high style and look great. My non-MO4S lettuce is growing a lot faster now that the heat has gone up 8 or 10 degrees at night. But I'm prepared for the likewise higher daytime temps to start ruining them.

bopper, love your corn huts. But they look so much shorter than your corn! I kinda wonder if critters still get in them or at the corn once the corn is so big you can't close the tops anymore.

Rose, your tomatoes look very strong, and your boxes nice and neat. I forget -- are your boxes on top of the concrete because you want some air space to discourage gophers and moles?

Welcome, mlasnier!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/4/2014, 4:16 am

Marc our sugar snap peas is something we look forward to every year! been munching on them for a few days now, but tonight they were on the dinner menu!  Very Happy they are really starting to come in.....so glad to here you are getting some too!


the only containers we have on concrete are the ones up by the house on the patio....I think you might be asking about our SFG beds that are in our red rock garden area.....we raised our wooden beds up on top of concrete blocks so I don't have to bend so much and to give our beds deeper soil  Very Happy 

it looks like we might have a few baby crooknecks coming along  cheers 

the gardens seem to be holding up....even though we are still dealing with critter thieves....

happy gardening
rose...... who is trying to look past the negatives of gardening and move forward with the positives......even though thieves came and ate off some of the baby heads of broccoli last night......so the family had broccoli leaves instead for dinner tonight and it was delicious!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/4/2014, 4:54 pm

There you go! If life gives you lemons, make broccoli ade! Or something ... Very Happy

Yeah, I mean the ones up on cinder blocks.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/5/2014, 12:53 pm

Rose

Quotes are from U of Minn Extension.  I can't explain the contradictions that I put in bold!

Ricing (broccoli and cauliflower)
Causes: Due to high fertility (particularly nitrogen) and high temperatures combined to favor very rapid growth
Symptoms: Small flower buds develop in the curd creating a fuzzy or velvety appearance.
Remedy: Managing both soil moisture and fertility during curd development can reduce the incidence of ricing.

Happened to one of the two types of cauli that I planted.


Buttoning (broccoli and cauliflower)
Causes: Nitrogen deficiency, cold temperature shock to young transplants, drought stress or other factors that markedly restrict vegetative growth
Symptoms: Development of small heads of curds (buttons) on immature plants. Plants that develop buttons are small and have small leaves that do not cover the developing head.
Remedy: Follow practices that will result in rapid vegetative growth and delay planting until the danger of fronts has passed (varieties differ in the amount of cold they can tolerate).

Happened to one of the three types of broc that I planted.

The solution that has evolved for me over the last couple years is to make multiple plantings of multiple cultivars into multiple boxes.  Something is bound to grow!   Razz

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/5/2014, 9:08 pm

@boffer wrote:
Happened to one of the three types of broc that I planted.

The solution that has evolved for me over the last couple years is to make multiple plantings of multiple cultivars into multiple boxes.  Something is bound to grow!   Razz

Ditto! If I hadn't done that last year with tomatoes, I'd have had next to none.

Went to get cinderblocks for the bed a neighbor is going to build in his enclosed garden and let me grow in. Turns out they sometimes have "seconds," which is stone etc. returned for whatever reason, that they can no longer sell as new. Sometimes there may be a fault, but often not. It let us get 33 decorative-surfaced cinderblocks for 43 bucks. Tomorrow we'll use them to build the bed.

My other neighbor's Blue Indigo tomato plant put out its first few fruits. Really cool looking cherry-size tomato, quite a dark purple/blue.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/6/2014, 5:43 am

Marc .......today we too found our first tomato of the season growing on our *Indigo Rose* tomato plant  Shocked I will try and get a picture of it tomorrow as I found it late this evening when we were doing some watering.....pretty cool!....how is your friends plant looking....I was a bit worried about this one as the bottom leaves are curling but the upper growth  looks great....and I didn't relies it was a cherry type of tomato and have been cutting off the suckers.....oops....

Thanks for the info on the ricing cauliflowers Boffer we too have ran into this problem from time to time and never could figure out why.....funny that the U of Minn Extension. has different opinions as well....ha ha.....I like your idea of planting it in different locations .....and if all fails....can you eat cauliflower leaves like broccoli leaves?......hubby wants me to find a good broccoli & cheese soup....cause we are going to get SOMETHING out of our 2 cole crop beds!!!....so far the rats have left the leaves alone  Razz 

the whole family worked hard today out in the family gardens....got a lot done  Very Happy 

planted out about 64 or so of bush dry bean transplants today out in the back garden into the area we had planted carrots that never came up...

harvested a SQ of green onions in our SFG bed #2....now trying to decide what to plant next in that square and 2 others that are empty ( 2 planting of carrots are a no show).....thinking about spinach & lettuce as these squares will be shaded a bit from the tomatoes that we have in this bed.....

happy gardening
rose

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/6/2014, 11:39 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:Marc .......today we too found our first tomato of the season growing on our *Indigo Rose* tomato plant  Shocked ....and I didn't relies it was a cherry type of tomato and have been cutting off the suckers.....oops....


happy gardening
rose
Rose, are we supposed to leave the suckers ON the cherry types?  I did not know this.
 thinking

Everything looks so fabulous, you guys!  My garden is neck & neck with Marc's but the rest of you are way ahead!  I always know what's coming next by reading the PNW updates. 
Very Happy 
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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2014, 1:55 am

@FamilyGardening wrote:Marc .......today we too found our first tomato of the season growing on our *Indigo Rose* tomato plant  Shocked I will try and get a picture of it tomorrow as I found it late this evening when we were doing some watering.....pretty cool!....how is your friends plant looking....I was a bit worried about this one as the bottom leaves are curling but the upper growth  looks great....and I didn't relies it was a cherry type of tomato and have been cutting off the suckers.....oops....
rose

Rose -- Nothing wrong with cutting off suckers on cherry tomatoes that are indeterminates. They'll keep on producing. Tomato plants that get too bushy sometimes produce less fruit and get harder to support. I couldn't cut off suckers fast enough last year and still got plenty of cherry tomatoes.

Re my friend's blue tomato -- I probably misnamed it last time, I'll double-check -- it's looking very vigorous, just great. Something like three or four feet tall at this point.

...

Today another friend and I leveled the ground and assembled the cinder block planter over at his place It's about three by four feet interior width. I filled it to the height of the first cinder block from his giant compost pile, watered it down to let it settle, and will come back Sunday to fill it up another few inches of compost. He's not a SFG believer, but he is letting me have a bed, so I'm happy. He always has great soil, and has nothing whatever to block the sun, all day. I'll most likely fill it with peppers, but may sneak yet another tomato in there.

Tough work putting that thing together. Had to lift over 30 blocks probably an average of five times each before we were sure everything on his sloping lot was level and would hold together properly without rebar or anything else to set the blocks but their own weight. And then lots of shoveling. And before that, shoveling at my house, to cover a fairly large patch of bare ground with decorative wood chips. I came back to the house at 1:30 p.m. so tired I promptly fell asleep on the couch. Shoulder hurt, but aspirin helped.


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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  gwennifer on 6/7/2014, 12:24 pm

Marc, funny thing happened yesterday when out with my kiddos. My eldest randomly says "Miner's lettuce is disgusting".  Laughing  It was seemingly out of nowhere, but then I realized she must have learned to identify it at Outdoor School, which she just attended last week. Sure enough, that's where she learned about it and they all picked some and ate it. She said it was bitter. Ha! So are all my attempts at homegrown lettuce. Glad to hear Mother Nature has the same problem.  Razz 

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2014, 2:50 pm

Ah, too bad she got that idea, gwennifer. One of our student mentors brought us in a wild salad earlier in the spring, when the miner's lettuce was still excellent, and most everybody was remarking about how unusually flavorful it was for a leaf veggie and really liked it. It was the best of any of the many leaves and flowers in the salad by far, and I was among those who became very interested in growing it. Sounds like your daughter didn't realize how bitter leaf veggies can get come summer. I've spit out my share, and was just gifted a lovely large head of romaine from a friend that went into the compost after a few bites on different leaves. I hope you have better luck than she and often I do too!

I think it was at our weekly time at the kids' school that another mentor told us that if you pick lettuce early in the morning, the bitterness will be less and it may not be bitter at all. Anecdotally, some of my red roma picked earlier in the morning wasn't bitter anymore, but I've only done that a couple of times so don't have enough of a sample size to believe it works as a general rule yet. The idea is in conflict from other stuff I've read, including here, I think, that once lettuce goes bitter, that's it, it's done and will never get better. So I'm not 100% sure what to think yet, but will keep trying to pick early in the morning and see if my red roma is consistently okay again.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/7/2014, 11:28 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:...mentor told us that if you pick lettuce early in the morning, the bitterness will be less and it may not be bitter at all...

That's what I've read, so I've been picking in the morning too. I'm not sure if it helps, but I like the crispness of it compared to picking later in the day when it begins to suffer from the heat.

One thing I've noticed is that when the 'juice' at the cut end of the leaf stalk is milky white rather than clear, the leaf will be more bitter.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/8/2014, 12:00 am

Gwennifer, I hope your kiddo tries miners' lettuce again from plants that are not in flower.  Wherever we see these native NW plants coming up in the garden or compost pile, we weed around them and encourage the plants.  Miners' lettuce is our first fresh greens, sometimes as early as end of February and/or early March.  Delicious, tender, sweet leaves for sandwiches, and cooked any way you do spinach, but without the oxalic acid that spinach has.  Could your young lady have inadvertently tasted a dandelion leaf instead?  Even the youngest dandelion leaves are too bitter for my taste.  Nonna

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/8/2014, 1:05 am

@boffer wrote:
One thing I've noticed is that when the 'juice' at the cut end of the leaf stalk is milky white rather than clear, the leaf will be more bitter.

I'm going to keep my eye out for that. I can't recall seeing white juice yet, but when I do, I'll have to do an immediate taste test, and be wary of mixing such a leaf in with any "good ones."

Today I went to check some bean plants -- shoulda watered 'em more, they died. The others were fine though. A lone cucumber seed sprouted and remained unmolested. Brussels sprouts still don't have a single sprout; wondering if I should leave them in or not. They've been in since last October or November and have always looked fine ... but nothing. Not even bolting,just sitting there. Confusing! Baby chard and lettuce under the row cover are growing quite slowly but the leaves look good. I want to let them grow more before picking.

Picked and ate my first peas today! Woo hoo! Love those things. Soooo delicious. Can't say it's a big crop, and our usual hot hot summer is fast approaching, but they only started to flower about a week ago(and some still haven't), so I'm crossing my fingers they keep going.

Down at the neighbor's place, the most miserable looking tomatoes of all I transplanted are the Better Bush. I had one last year that was astonishingly vigorous and bulletproof to every disease and insect. Color me very surprised at the difference. Confusing!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  walshevak on 6/8/2014, 11:05 am

@boffer wrote:
@Marc Iverson wrote:...mentor told us that if you pick lettuce early in the morning, the bitterness will be less and it may not be bitter at all...

That's what I've read, so I've been picking in the morning too.  I'm not sure if it helps, but I like the crispness of it compared to picking later in the day when it begins to suffer from the heat.

One thing I've noticed is that when the 'juice' at the cut end of the leaf stalk is milky white rather than clear, the leaf will be more bitter.  

I just started noticing the white milk last week and wondered it that was where the bitter was.  Soaking a few minutes in water with a little vinegar helps draw it out some.  So early picking, vinegar water and chilling in fridge may give me a few more days.

Kay

Kay

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  boffer on 6/8/2014, 4:51 pm

albino albino 

Yes, the reddish plants are Ruby Perfection.  They are behind schedule, but they do have heads forming.

Has anyone in the PNW grown fall cabbage, and if so, when do you recommend starting the seeds?  It would be for a late fall harvest, not over-wintering.

I can't believe I'm this old and only learned last winter how easy to make, and how healthy to eat, sauerkraut is.  The difference between homemade and most store bought is nearly as large as the difference between store bought and home grown tomatoes.   I'm looking forward to making sauerkraut with my own cabbage.

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Re: PNW: June 2014

Post  nurzemjd on 6/8/2014, 8:22 pm

Yum, homemade sauerkraut! Hadn't thought of that one.

My spinach bolted this year, I think because where I have it planted gets too much sun. Working on some shading now.  

I love the pics you folks put up, it gives me so many ideas and such hope for how beautiful my garden will someday be Smile

The one thing that I have noticed is that all of you seem to start things much earlier than I do, so time to get brave and plan/plant earlier, lol.

Wonderful question about the fall cabbage Boffer, I hope someone has some input on that!

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Re: PNW: June 2014

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