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The Garden
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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
Posts: 4298
Location: Moon Base
Audio files: 617

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: The start of a new grow season Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It might seem early but it is time to start with some peppers.

Although I have been looking at some new seeds to order (not just peppers) I first want to try to germinate some that I still have.
I would like to grow some habaneros again which I haven't grown for a couple of years. I still have some seeds from 2014 so I might
as well try if they are still viable or toss 'em if they aren't.

Last year I didn't have much luck with germination eventhough I'd ordered new seeds so I am going to do it slightly different this year.
Instead of sowing them directly in the ground as I usually do I will first try to germinate them in a damp coffeefilter. This way it'll take
up less space than having a bunch of plastic cups and I can also start with a lot more seeds. I already did this last year when none of
the seeds seem to sprout and it worked pretty well.

I started by soaking them for about 30 minutes in 3% peroxide and after that added some warm water (40C/104F). I let them sit for a
couple of hours and then put them on damp coffee filters (I used the water + peroxide the seeds had been soaking in). The filters
were folded and put into ziploc bags. While I was doing this I got a nice surprise, one of the "Purple Tiger" seeds had already sprouted Shocked
I put it in a seperate bag so I can keep an eye on it.

Last year I put the bags in my heated DIY incubator which I had already set up for the cups but that takes up more space then I need
right now. Instead I am using some of the very cheap heating pads I got from ebay last year for another experiment which I put in a
jar with the seeds. These don't get hot just a bit warm so should be ideal for something like this.

I first tried 3 pads wired in a parallel with an empty jar and measured a temperature of around 30C/86F which is great for peppers.
However, after putting the bags with the seeds in there I noticed the temperature going up to about 35C/95F which is definitely too hot.
It could be that the sensor was against one of the pads though but I removed one of them. So now there are 2 pads on the outside (I had
one between the baggies first) and I also wrapped them in some bubblewrap (the seeds) so they don't sit directly against the pads. The
temperature now seems to stay somewhere between 25C and 30C so that's perfect. I'll check at the end of the week how the seeds are doing.



While checking what seeds I still have I found some more Atropa belladonna seeds. I thought I used all of them but apparently I have some left.
Never had much luck with them although I did get some sprouts last year but they died quickly. Since they need cold statification for a couple of
weeks I just put them in a pot outside. They also require light to germinate which is what I might have messed up before. While looking
for henbane seeds I already found a place that sells 2 different kinds of belladonna seeds so I will probably order those anyway.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I made a closed terrarium in a jar (or actually 3 of them). I have been wanting to make one for a while and since I found some mosses
recently I thought I might as well give it a try. It actually turned out better than expected Razz.

On the bottom is a layer of rocks for drainage with some window mesh on top to prevent the soil from clogging it up. This is followed by a layer
of activated carbon and a layer of course sand for filtration. It is topped off with a layer of soil that I got from the woods. It had some seedlings in
it so I planted 2 of them for some more variation in plant life. There is also a piece of fresh (unrooted) piece of Ivy in it. From my experience with
making ivy cuttings last year I think that will do fine. I found a piece of wood with some bright green lichen on it which looks great but I don't know
if it will survive in such an environment.

It will probably look a bit better after a couple of days when it is a bit more established but I don't know what will happen next. There will
probably be some mold grow which is almost unavoidable with the high moisture level but that doesn't have to be a problem as long as it
doesn't get out of control. There might be some seeds in the soil so there could be some surprise plant growth. I have no idea what the current
seedlings are and how big they are going to get and if they will even survive. Some animal live might appear too as there could be some insect
eggs in the soil aswell. There is already a bug roaming around which I am pretty sure is a rove beetle. I do feel a bit bad for it as I don't think
it will find much if anything to eat, but it would be tricky to get it out. I would like to put some isopods in there but not as food although I don't
know if the rove beetle would try to eat them.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh that looks nice those terraria!

Also, with some practice, you could get some life on Phobos, maybe :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

thanks jan Very Happy

Phobos is a bit dark and cold, but maybe Elon Musk can drop of a battery or two on his way to Mars.
I actually need to figure out some proper lighting too, some LED lights should work.

Here are the other 2 which are very simple. The smallest one (Sleeping Giant) is a tiny jar that measure 6x4cm.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The first pepper seeds hit the dirt today Cool

Here's the list of seeds that are in the jar and the results sofar:

Habanero [2014]: Lots of seeds germinated but they don't all look healthy. I selected the 5 best looking ones and planted those.

Bhut Jolokia ("Ghost Pepper") [2017]: These are leftover seeds from the ones I ordered at the beginning of 2017, none have germinated yet.
I do have a bunch of seeds from the peppers I harvested at the end of 2017 but those are probably hybrids so I am trying the original seeds first.
Actually, I might as well soak some of those seeds too.

Kung Pao [2018]: I had 4 seeds leftover from last year but none of those have germinated yet.

Little elf [2017]: Harvested from peppers at the end of 2017. Probably hybrids too as the plants I grew from this seed last year were definitely not little.
A couple have germinated so I selected the 5 best looking ones of these too.

Jalapeno [2017]: These are harvested from peppers I grew in 2017. A lot of healthy looking germination and I selected 5 of them to plant.

Numex Twilight [2018]: leftover seeds from last year, none have germinated yet.

Purple Tiger [2017]: These seeds are harvested from peppers I grew in 2017. 4 of the seeds have germinated so far, including the one that already germinated
after a couple of hours. One of them didn't look very healthy so I planted the remaining 3.


The remaining seeds are back in the jar for another week.


some other peppers that I might order some seeds from are:
- Hungarian Hot Wax
- Scotch Bonnet Red
- 7 Pod Brain Strain Red
- Rocoto Red
- Hot Paper Lantern


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

we got hooks! Razz

1x little elf, 1x purple tiger, 4x jalapeno.


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inside the incubator, from top to bottom:
- Habanero [5x]
- Little elf [5x]
- Purple Tiger [3x]
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just received the first new seeds for 2019:

* Hyoscyamus niger [Henbane]
* Datura Stramonium Tatula 'Lilac Le Fleur' - Datura with lilac flowers with a purple center.
* Atropa belladonna var. Lutea - a rare deadly nightshade with yellow flowers.
* Atropa komarovii , Belladonna, Turkmenistan - another rare deadly nightshade variety, the flowers have some purple in them.
* Sinicuichi, Heimia salicifolia [sunopener] - not as poisonous like the rest but does contain some alkaloids and it can be used to brew an 'interesting' tea.
* Nicotiana rustica [Mapacho/Aztec tobacco] - I didn't order these but got them as a free gift Very Happy

all seeds come from http://www.shamanicworldseeds.nl/

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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Most of the plants I had sown last year died pretty quickly after transplanting (apart from the peppers) but there is one that did pretty well:
Antirrhinum majus 'Circus Clowns' (Snapdragons) I am a bit surprised it survived as it got a lot of direct sun and I didn't water it that well,
but it looks very healthy at the moment. The other snapdragons that I've started from seed in 2017 still have some green too. I was expecting
them to die off as they are usually grown as annuals but I guess they decided to stick around a bit longer. Very Happy

Another one I started from seed last year is Solanum pseudocapsicum (Jerusalem cherry). The seeds were already a bit old when I got them
but I got two plants out of it that are doing well. One of them even produced a fruit which is a bit shriveled up now. I have them inside at the
moment and they have already started to produce some fresh growth.

The Gynra Aurantiaca (Purple Passion) plant I bought last year did great untill I took inside for the winter and it started to die off.
Since I don't want to lose it I tried making some cuttings which worked quite well. Actually it worked so well that I have already made
cuttings of those cuttings. I am glad I did because what was left of the plant did indeed die.

Another plant I made cuttings of is the Begonia rex. It is still looking ok but it did loose a bunch of leaves and I thought it would be a nice
experiment. Apparently these can be propagated by leaf cuttings so I am curious how it will work out.

A plant that I haven't shown before is the Chamaedorea elegans (Parlour Palm) at least I am pretty sure that's what it is. I bought it 3 or 4
years ago as a very small plant in a very small pot. It actually has more than one plant in it but I did lose a couple of them with a failed experiment.
The first couple of years I just left them in the small pot not really expecting them to survive but they did. So last year I rewarded them with
some more root space and oh boy were they happy with that. Because they responded so well I gave them a slightly bigger pot this year too.
Judging by the root system it wasn't really needed but I wanted to add a bit of fresh soil anyway.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some things are happening in the terraria. Not only have the seedlings gotten a bit taller but new plants are starting to sprout. Very Happy
I saw the rove beetle (I named it George) roaming around yesterday so it is still alive (although I haven't seen it today) and I also saw
another very tiny creature in the soil.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
I also saw another very tiny creature in the soil.

I actually managed to take a photo of it while it was on the backside of the bark.
No idea what it is,. maybe lunch for George who I just saw roaming around again.

edit: my search got as far as it being some kind of Oribatida.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And here's George Cool

(the fuzz on the glass is probably from cleaning it with a cotton pad)


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

first some updates on the peppers:
The 5th Jalapeno sprouted and so did another Purple Tiger. Not much happened with the rest of the seeds at least nothing new germinated but
some more habanero seeds germinated, which look a little bit healthier. Some Purple Tiger and Little Elf seeds were already sprouting in the coffee
filters so those have all been put into some soil. I'd really like a couple of ghost peppers but none of those seeds have germinated so far.


Today I added a bit more color to my balcony. I have some clutter beneath a potting table I wanted to hide but it also has to be easily accessible
so I can't just cover it. After contemplating what my options were with the materials I have at hand I found a solution in an old fly curtain and
some spraypaint. I didn't like the orignal color, or lack thereof and wanted something darker. I started with some metallic purple but ran out
of paint a bit quicker than expected. I moved to some blue next but didn't have enough of that either. Silver seemed to go nice with the blue
and metallic purple and while sorthing trough my paint I found an old can of chrome paint. I didn't want the chrome to dominate though and
decided to finish up with a splash of bright yellow and orange and even some gold in the center (representing the sun of course).

I am currently trying to decide which plants I want for this year. I am probably not going to sow a lot but instead just buy some perennials. Plants are
selected on height, color, light & water requirements and blooming period. I want to have some tall spectacular flowers in warm bright colors
in late summer like for example the Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow'. (I hope the tiger lily will also grow again this year but I am not 100% sure
the bulb is still ok). If everything works out I will have flowers in varies colors throughout the year and with a bit of luck a bunch of them will come
back every year. Of course with the far from optimal growing conditions on my balcony it might become one big failure but sometimes plants
surprise me and do quite well.


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PHOBoS



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

3 of the habanero seeds (from 2014) have sprouted cheers
One of them is a helmet head though but I might be able to safe it.

I also received some more seeds in the mail today. I only ordered one pepper variety since I already
have enough pepper seeds sprouting but I hope some of the ghost peppers sprout too.

So what did I get this time:
- Scotch Bonnet red: very hot pepper similar to Habanero.
- Hyacinthoides non-scripta: English Bluebell, classic woodland plant with nice blue bell shaped flowers.
(Apparently it can take 3-4 years before they flower so that might be a bit of a challenge)
- Nicotiana alata "Tinkerbell F2 Hybride": dwarf tabacco with red/white/pink/purple flowers*.
- Convolvulus tricolor: dwarf morning glory with blue/white/pink/purple flowers*.
- Zinnia elegans "Thumbelina mix": dwarf zinnia with red/orange/yellow/white/pink flowers*.
- Dahlia variabilis "Dandy": dwarf dahlia (can still get up to 50cm though) with red/orange/yellow/white flowers*.
- Arctotis acaulis "Harlequin mix": African daisy with red/white/orange/yellow/pink flowers*.
* generally it's one color per plant although the flowers themselves can be multicolored

the pictures will probably give you a better idea.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice progress on the peppers. I'm not sure if I'll try again this year. Last two years it in the end all chili plants died due to aphids. Tried all kind of methods to get rid of them, but none worked and especially the smaller plants are too weak to withstand an attack.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Do you grow them indoors or outdoors ?
Indoors they are much more likely to get infested with aphids because there are no natural predators (except yourself).
Fungus gnats can also wreak havoc and can be difficult to get rid of inside. I've ordered some of the yellow sticky papers
that should be able to help with that to see if that works (in case I get an infestation). For aphids you can and probably
have tried a mixture of water, soap, alcohol (spiritus) and tobacco but you have to spray the plants daily for a week or
so and there is no guarantee they won't return. I usually don't have a lot of problems with aphids outside. They do show up
but mostly when the plants are already large enough that they don't cause much damage besides covering the leaves in a
sticky residue. I have had problems with aphids inside when trying to keep plants through the winter; as soon as new growth
appears aphids start to appear too.

------------


a Tinkerbell and Jamaican red hot have also sprouted, so at the moment I have:
* Jalapeno
* Purple Tiger
* Habanero
* Little elf
* Tinkerbell
* Jamaican red hot


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PHOBoS



Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just spotted a pair of blue tits checking the real estate. Razz
When I put the birdhouse up last year I never expected to actually get some birds nesting in it so I hope they are pleased with it.

The original coco-fiber liner of the planting baskets mounted against the wall was too far gone so I replaced it with some green outdoor carpet.
It doesn't look as natural as the cocoliner but it's much flatter so there is more volume for soil and it will retain moisture better. I am not
going to throw the original liner away though as it makes for excellent nesting material (probably also a reason why it was already pulled
apart). The blue tits showing interest in the bird house is an extra incentive to make a holder for it as quick as possible.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The flower seeds have already started to sprout. I don't know how well it will work out starting so early in the year
but I have plenty of seeds left in case it doesn't work out. (I have only sown 8 of each sofar)


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MapacheRaper



Joined: Feb 15, 2018
Posts: 150
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool posting, Phobos. I use to grow basil, rosemary, timo and some random peppers too. I really like some smoked jalapeño sauces, so maybe I will try this spring. Here in Spain all these grow super easy (not sure about the Jalapeño, yet, but it should). I mostly like to grow things that I can eat... Smile. You can´t get more healthy foods than homegrow ones with care and without glyphosates and shit...

Do you eat your Peppers? Having all that ultravenom plants around looks a bit scary, isn´t? And fascinating too Smile

Where are you located?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am located in the Netherlands and have a small west-facing balcony, which is horrible when it comes to sunlight (don't get much of it).
Because of that I can't really grow a lot of food and there isn't much I like to begin with. I did manage to grow a romanesco broccoli in a pot
a couple years ago, which is beautiful to look at, and taste good too. I also tried growing some herbs and radishes but didn't have any luck
with those. Oh and some potatoes too as an experiment which worked out better than expected but not really worth it on my small balcony.
I might try some strawberries this year. Growing your own food is great though and I think everyone who has some space for it should try it.
It's rewarding, healthy and better for the environment too.

I do eat all the peppers I grow but usually only get a couple per plant (if any at all). I did have some luck in 2017 with the ghost peppers that
produced a lot of peppers (still have some in my freezer) and the purple tiger did pretty well too. This year I want to prune them so they'll
become bushier which should help with getting more peppers, it can delay the flowering a bit though.

The poisonous plants I've been growing so far aren't very dangerous as long as you don't ingest them. I do find them fascinating and some of
them can have gorgeous flowers like for example daturas/brugmansias and foxgloves. I also REALLY like the smell of datura flowers. love
I actually started with daturas and henbane as part of my ethnobotanical garden and after that I began collecting more nightshades (which also
includes peppers) and other poisonous plants. This year I also hope to add monkshood to the list which I'll have to handle more carefully.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

for the bird watchers among us:
I've been watching the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam throughout the day which has a nice view of some tropical birds.

sofar I've learned that;
the Clay-colored trush is a total dick,
the Chestnut-headed Oropendola doesn't care about them,
the Gray-cowled Wood-Rail is a classy bird,
tropical birds go nuts for watermelon (they get fresh fruit every hour or so)

also: squirrel! Laughing

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

PHOBoS wrote:
for the bird watchers among us:
I've been watching the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam throughout the day which has a nice view of some tropical birds.


'Some' is an understatement. It's positively heaving with activity! Great find! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the link!! I lucked out--there were birds eating there when I first tuned in!!! Nice, colorful birds.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

there is a squirrel right now Very Happy

edit: gone!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The first flowers have appeared on my balcony, the photo is a bit fuzzy but it's a viola (planted last year). Very Happy

The flowers I have sown are looking good sofar.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I ordered some plants which arrived today flower
They're pretty much all hardy perennials so if I don't kill them (I am pretty good at that) I should be able to enjoy them for many years.

here's what I got:
----------------------
Aquilegia 'Silver Queen' [Columbine with white flowers]
Aconitum 'Stainless Steel' [Monkshood with blue grey flowers]
Armeria maritima 'Alba' [Thrift with white flowers]
Dicentra spectabilis [Bleeding heart with pink/white flowers]
Viola cornuta 'Yellow Perfection' [Violet with yellow flowers]
Epimedium grandiflorum var. Higoense [Barrenwort with white flowers]
Lamiastrum galeobdolon 'Herman's Pride' [Dead-nettle with yellow flowers]
Lamium maculatum 'Pink Pewter' [Dead-nettle with pink flowers]
Dracocephalum argunense 'Blue Carpet' [Dragon's Head with blue flowers]
Agastache 'Tangerine Dreams' [Giant hyssop with pink/orange flowers]
Rudbeckia triloba 'Prairie Glow' [Brown-eyed Susan with orange/yellow flowers]
Monarda 'Cambridge Scarlet' [Bergamot with red flowers]
Campanula cochleariifolia 'Jingle Blue' [Fairy Thimble with blue flowers]
Prunella grandiflora 'Bella Rose' [Self Heal with pink flowers]

Some of these can get quite large but since I keep them in small containers and don't get a lot of sun I think I should be able to contain them.



Also an update on the Tiger Lily. I got the bulb last year and it produced some spectacular flowers. At the end of the year I took the bulb out of the
ground for storage and to check if it had produced some side bulbs (it hadn't). I stored it together with some damp soil in a bag with some holes in
it just as I received it. Unlike a lot of other bulbs lily bulbs should not dry out. I checked on it recently and it got pretty dry and the bulb was very
dehydrated. I put it in a plastic container with some new soil which made it possible to actually bury the bulb. This plastic container was placed inside
another bag (without any holes). I didn't have much hope after the bulb got so dehydrated but I checked on it yesterday and there are lots of new
roots visible. So I think it might pull trough afterall Razz


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