Quail Can Be Perfect Poultry For Those Without Land

One decade ago, Jenny and Will Ledlow bought 6 acres in central Oklahoma, where Jenny dove into hobby farming. Raising a vegetable garden, pigs, guineas, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese and quail, Jenny provides most of the family meals and a lot of fun. Plus, through social media and farmer’s markets, she sells what the family doesn’t use. 

“I’m not a quail expert,” Jenny says. “But I’ve had poultry since I was a kid. I learned quail care online, reading books and through years of experience. After reading about quail, I decided to try raising them. In 2014, I hatched around 20 quail eggs that I bought online. I chose coturnix quail because they are fast growing, very productive and fairly easy to care for.

“Quail are not a big investment, and they can provide eggs and meat for people without land. Plus they are quiet and small.” 

Quail-Raising Basics

During the first four weeks, Jenny feeds her quail game bird starter. Then she switches to game bird feed, kale, herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, corn on the cob, mealworms, berries and insects. 

For living quarters, Jenny says, “Housing needs to be safe and easy to clean. Most people who raise quail for eggs use stacked cages with roll-out spots for eggs. Metal, wood and wire are common materials used. I move my housing according to the weather. I like movable pens that are about 4 by 5 feet because it is easy to move them outdoors when it’s nice and onto a clean area so I can clean the previous place where they were. It also lets me add things for them to do such as sand boxes, clumps of grass and dirt, and places to hide.coturnix quailcoturnix quailJenny Ledlow

“I protect my quail from predators using small wire on the pens or hardware cloth. Or I move them indoors. I never allow them to free range because coturnix quail are not native to Oklahoma. Also, they would be eaten by cats or other predators. I’ve seen them raised with chickens, but I haven’t tried it. I house them separately from other birds.” 

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In winter, Jenny’s quail are in sheds, chicken coops and Will’s shop. In summer, Jenny keeps the quail in the shade and monitors for fresh water. One summer she kept them in the garage with a window air conditioning unit. 

The Value of Quail Eggs

Coturnix begin laying tiny, spotted eggs at 6 weeks of age. Jenny says they lay any time during the day and during all seasons, including winter (depending on the quails’ ages and housing). 

“The chicks hatch in 18 days but can hatch earlier or later,” Jenny says. “They are similar to baby chickens, but they need food, water and bedding changes a lot more often. There are special food and water…

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Establishing Your Sales Channels As A Flower Farmer

The flower farming movement has been generating more and more momentum. And with that momentum, more farmers, market gardeners and entrepreneurs are opening up their flower farms for business. With so many new flower farmers entering the market, it can feel tough to establish yourself among the competition.

Flower farms are setting themselves apart with branding and marketing. But perhaps the most critical distinction a flower farmer can make is their choice in sales channels. Not all flower farmers target the same markets for their business, and here are just a few of the most popular and successful sales niches in the flower farming industry.

Cut Flower U-Pick

Flower farms across the country are opening their doors to guests. Agritourism is nothing new, but cut-flower u picks are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Some farms choose to focus on single varieties, such as mass plantings of tulips or sunflowers. Other farms are taking a more comprehensive approach and planting large varieties of flowers, allowing guests to pick and design their own flower bouquets.

Many of these farms also charge photographers for photo sessions and will often host special events and workshops  on the farm. These flower farm u-picks can greatly increase profits while also decreasing labor costs, as the end customer is also cutting the  flowers themselves.

Farmers Market

This is the traditional small-farmers sales outlet, but farmers markets can be excellent places to build a customer base for your flowers. Consider growing more spring crops and entering the farmers market earlier in the season, when there is less competition from other cut flower farmers.

A combination of mixed bouquets, a few arrangements and some single stem (buy by the stem) options would make a nice display and offer your customers variety.

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Flower CSA

Flowers CSAs, Community Supported Agriculture, are increasing in popularity with customers enjoying the “earthy” and “wildflower” aesthetic touch that fresh cut flowers bring to their homes. CSAs are basically selling a subscription service from the farm.

Supporters buy in at the beginning of the season with a lump sum payment. Then they receive a weekly, biweekly or sometimes monthly bouquet of flowers. These can be wonderful sales channels for flower farms as they provide investment capital at the beginning of the season.

CSAs do have some drawbacks and can lock you into fulfilling large volumes of bouquets weekly all season. While that may sound great, being paid for all of these bouquets upfront can cause some cashflow issues throughout the season.

Florist Sales

Florist sales can be an excellent sales channel for a flower farmer. Florists can take large volumes of flowers all at once, and they do not require designing time or bouquet creation. You simply harvest, process, and send the flowers to the florist. Retail florists often will take regular weekly orders, and event florists may have standing orders as well as large volume special request orders.

Florist sales may seem most intimidating to begin…

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Warped & Weird Flowers? Could Be Aster Yellows Disease

Between more extreme weather than usual and an onslaught of head-clipping weevils, my butterfly garden took a beating this season. Usually I don’t have to do much to keep my milkweed, black-eyed Susans and other native perennials looking their best. But within a particularly dense planting of purple coneflowers, things went off the rails when aster yellows disease moved in.

The large, purple flower heads I expected to see were replaced with blooms right out of a Dr. Seuss book. Green, leafy “petals” ringed bright green cones. Weirder still, in some spots the leaf-like petals were replaced with additional flower stalks—also sickly green and badly deformed.

At first I thought it was just some genetic anomaly. Looking into it further, I realized the news was much worse—a classic case of aster yellows disease.

Aster What?

Caused by a phytoplasma—a special type of bacterial plant pathogen—aster yellows disease is transmitted by leafhoppers. According to John Bonkowski, a plant disease diagnostician at Purdue University’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, “What typically occurs is the phytoplasma will be within the gut of the leafhopper. So, while feeding, a leafhopper pokes its piercing, sucking mouthpart into the leaf and sucks out some of the [the leaf’s] contents. They sometimes also push out saliva, and the phytoplasma comes out when they do that. It goes into the plant.”

A kind of parasite, phytoplasmas are bacteria that lack cell walls. As such, they cannot live outside on their own. “They need to be inside the host,” Bonkowski says. “That’s why they’re being moved around by the insects.”

Echinacea plants are among the most commonly affected by aster yellows disease. However, marigolds, zinnias, daisies and chrysanthemums are some other susceptible targets.

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Disease Symptoms

Once an infected leafhopper transmits the disease-causing phytoplasma to a plant, the entire plant is systemically affected. “It’s going to be throughout the plant,” Bonkowski says. “The phytoplasma can affect the hormone balance in the plant, which is why you end up seeing these very particular symptoms in coneflower and zinnias and these other aster plants.”

“Flower parts will start developing leaves,” he adds. “So, in the case of echinacea, you have the cone itself—the spiky part—and it actually will start developing bunches of leaves.”

In general, plant growth may be very stunted and small. “There might be more stems compared to what a normal plant would produce,” Bonkowski says. “You’ll have these offshoots that are very green and maybe smaller than you might expect on a typical flower. The big thing is that the hormone balance is disrupted, and you have these odd plant growths because of it.”

The Fix

When it comes to eradicating aster yellows in affected plants, there’s really no good treatment. What’s more, simply pruning them down to the ground isn’t enough. “The aster yellows phytoplasma will not survive in the debris of infected plants. But it can survive in the crown and roots of infected…

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Survival Archery: The Ultimate Skill for a Post-Apocalyptic World?

Survival Archery Practice

In a world where modern conveniences can quickly disappear in the blink of an eye, the ability to adapt and rely on your survival skills is becoming more apparent by the day. One such skill, often overlooked in favor of firearms, is archery. In a total all-out collapse situation, archery is a skill that can help you survive no matter how harsh conditions may become.

Picture a world plunged into chaos – a world where the comforts of modern civilization are mere memories. In this new landscape, food is scarce, threats lurk everywhere, and the ability to protect oneself and secure food becomes the ultimate currency.

It’s not a dystopian fantasy; it’s a scenario rooted in history and one that could be the future we are heading towards, thanks to the elites who wish to crash everything into the ground in some great reset fantasy. From natural disasters to societal collapse, numerous events could lead to a world where survival skills mean the difference between life and death.

But why should you learn to shoot a bow and arrow when firearms are readily available? Hey, no one is saying to give up your guns, but we like having options and having as many backups as possible. So here are five compelling survival-related reasons why mastering archery is worth your effort.

1. It helps Provide a Food Source

In times of crisis, securing food may become a challenging task. A bow is an invaluable tool for hunting game, including everything from deer to smaller prey like rabbits and birds – you can even retrofit your bow for fishing as well. Its stealth factor and ability to reclaim and use your arrows are what sets it apart from firearms. The quiet operation of a bow allows for stealthy hunting, increasing your chances of success without giving away your position.

The ability to hunt game silently could be a game-changer. Additionally, as we pointed out above, bows can be used for bow fishing, a versatile hunting method to catch fish silently.

2. Portability

Survival scenarios often demand mobility and adaptability. Traditional bows, mainly takedown bows, excel at this task. Takedown bows can be disassembled into compact pieces, making them easy to transport even when you need to travel light. A takedown bow can be your trusted survival companion when space and weight are at a premium.

3. Low Cost

In these turbulent times, budget-conscious choices are essential. You can acquire a reliable takedown bow or compound bow without breaking the bank. The affordability extends to ammunition – arrows are cost-effective and, with practice, reusable. Unlike firearms, where ammunition can be scarce, archers can even craft their arrows using readily available materials.

4. Less Paperwork and Less Strict Laws

Owning a firearm often comes with a maze of regulations and paperwork. Archery, in contrast, involves fewer legal hurdles. While there are some rules to follow, they are generally less restrictive than those governing firearms. Archery offers a more straightforward path to self-reliance.

5. Improved Fitness Levels

Survival situations demand physical fitness….

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Cooksey Farms Is About Gardening With Gratitude

Alison Cooksey of the Cooksey Farms social media account proudly calls her Bay Area-based hobby farm a “trial and error” project. In practice, this means taking bold decisions in the garden and paying attention to how the natural results unfold.

“I always knew I wanted to garden because I grew up watching my dad garden. I always thought it was neat how he essentially created a mini-farm in our backyard,” recalls Cooksey of her initial interest in growing produce. “I was inspired by seeing how proud he was, coming inside with things he grew to cook for dinner. Once I finally got my own home, I couldn’t wait to start my own garden.”

We spoke to Cooksey about the gratifying nature of gardening and planting peppers in December. We also got the scoop on a little something called potato cucumbers.

Embracing Experimentation

When it comes to embracing experimentation in the garden, Cooksey points to planting pepper seeds in December as a risk that paid off.

“I felt that it was too early to start them, as last year I didn’t start the seeds until March,” explains Cooksey, “but my peppers barely produced by the time it got too cold. Someone I talked to who lives in a warmer climate than I do said they start their pepper seeds in December. So I decided I’d try it and see what happened.”

Reaping the benefits of planting boldly, Cooksey says the peppers “have done exceptionally well this year. They produced early and have been very prolific!”

Playing with Seed Starting

Building on the experimental streak, Cooksey says that playing around with seed starting has also proven fruitful.

“I’ve found that I have had the best success starting seeds hydroponically. The seedlings get the right amount of water and light, and it takes a lot of the babysitting of seedlings away. All of my hydroponic starts were some of the strongest and healthiest plants I’ve ever had!”

Peppers, Tomatoes & Cucumbers

Looking over this year’s bounty from the garden, Cooksey says peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers emerged as leading success stories. “It’s been nice to be able to have enough to eat and also share with friends and family for once,” says Cooksey.

“As far as incorporating my produce into cooking,” she continues, “I’ve been adding peppers and tomatoes to almost every dish. Sometimes it feels like I’m on the cooking show Chopped. I look at what I have in the garden and in the pantry, and I see what I can make!”

Get to Know Potato Cucumbers

If you take a moment to enjoy the Cooksey Farms Instagram account, you’ll notice the presence of some eye-catching potato cucumbers. “The potato cucumbers are definitely unique,” says Cooksey. “They are a smaller, bushier variety, but sadly they haven’t been very prolific for me. But that could be due to a few factors. I put my plant in a grow bag, so next year I’ll try it in a larger container or in a raised bed and see…

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Recipe: Welcome Fall & Embrace Nature With Some Apple Tea

After five consecutive days above 90 degrees, temperatures (as I write this) have plummeted into the 60’s. It’s felt incredible. People joyfully pulled out their sweaters and jeans and opened their windows.

The cool temperatures get everyone in the mood for cooking and “soup season.” My daughter began pulling out our fall/Halloween decor, and we even baked a batch of apple crisp. Apples are as synonymous with fall in Minnesota as pumpkins.

Being that we are midway through September already, I thought it would be a great time to share a recipe from a new book that my publisher sent me called The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants and Flowers, written by Chris Young and Susan Ottaviano.

Have you heard the term, “Green Witch” over the past few years? The definition of a green witch is someone that embraces nature and intentionally works toward living in harmony with the earth and humanity. Green witches believe that their “connection to the earth and the universe allows them to draw great power from creating love, health, peace, blessings and harmony in their world.”

Magical herbalism is the central practice of a green witch. The 2 Green Witches that authored this book seek to encourage readers to transform everyday flowers, fruits and plants from the garden into salts, herbal infusions, soaps, sachets, tinctures and more.

I tried one of the recipes in the book this week, as I was craving tea with these cooler temps. I’d say this apple tea definitely worth making again.

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Serves: 2


  • 2 green tea bags
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 green organic apple, sliced
  • Maple syrup or organic sugar, to taste


In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add tea bags, cinnamon, cloves and allspice to the pan. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.

Discard tea bags and spices. Stir in apple juice (or cider) and heat through.

Always remember that spoons are a kind of wand. You can use them while you cook to direct your energy and intentions to empower whatever you are preparing.

Serve tea with the green apple slices and sweetener of choice.

This recipe has been shared from The Green Witch’s Guide to Magical Plants and Flowers with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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Six old knives I’ll never sell – Survival Common Sense Blog

I review knives, and must barter, trade or sell some to pay the bills and acquire more knives to review.

A reader asked if there was one particular knife I wouldn’t sell. Here are six.

By Leon Pantenburg

Some physical items become touchstones to great memories. Some knives do that for me. For that reason, I have several worn, semi-grungy knives that couldn’t be replaced and that will never be sold.

Mora 840 Companion: Several years ago, I bought several Mora knives to field test as potential knives for Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, Oregon. A scout nearly severed his finger at camp the previous summer, when a combination of stupid knife handling and a faulty lock on a folder created a serious accident.

There was a dual purpose in checking out Moras – I wanted to see if there was a way to use the blade for flint and steel firemaking, and we needed a quality, rigid blade for the scouts to use. (Sheath knives ARE NOT banned in the scouts, but some districts and/or scoutmasters do ban them. Here is why this is a bad idea.)

So after trying out several different styles and brands of blades, and some use and downright abuse, the troop settled on the Mora 840 Companion. (Read the review.) We got a great deal on 40, from an Eagle Scout who owns a knife store, and were able to sell them to the scouts for $8 each. A few years later we ordered 50 more, and the scout price was $10 each. The scouts have used these knives hard, as only an enthusiastic kid can, and there has never been a failure in any of the Moras.

I used the hell out of my original Mora. It was the knife I took along on camping and canoe trips and loaned out to beginners. Basically, it was disposable – if the Companion got lost in a creek of deep snow, I could get another for under $20. A scoutmaster friend of mine also got a 840 as a utility knife. A physician, he could easily afford a better knife, but his $8 Mora has been taken and used on moose, caribou, elk, deer and hog hunts.

So these thing creep up on you. Today, my original Mora is showing some wear around the edges. But whenever I use it, I recall the many, many scout campouts, the kids I loaned it to and good times associated with the outdoors. So it’s not for sale.

Tinker: My buddy and fellow Boy Scout volunteer Jim Grenfell were discussing/debating what was the best pocket knife. I made a persuasive pitch for the three blade Stockman pattern knives I have been carrying for decades.

Swiss Army Tinker, best pocket knife, best every day carry knife

The Swiss Army Tinker is an inexpensive knife that can handle a variety of tasks.

Jim argued…

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Putting Your Garden To Sleep For The Winter

You can find many reasons to put your garden to sleep for the winter. Remember that a natural ecosystem will necessarily have preparation in order to go into the long cold winters that we experience throughout most of North America.

There are many important ways that we can maximize ecosystem services when putting our garden to rest. These can be broken down into various strategies and can also paired with other typical market garden and landscape management techniques.

Let’s explore some of the top choices for preparing your garden for winter.

Cover Cropping

Cover cropping is your ally going into the winter because it protects the soil surface not only in the fall when you may have heavy rains, but also throughout the winter. Cover crops can keep soil life buffered from the extreme temperatures of the cold winter months.

It also protects the soil in the spring, when there is not only a lot of runoff from snow melt but also heavy rains, which will erode unprotected soil, causing you to lose not only the grains of your soil but also the nutrients.

Cover cropping has additional benefits, too, scavenging nutrients in the fall.  This means these crops take up various soluble nutrients, such as nitrogen available in the soil after your crop is finished, and holds them in an insoluble form in the form of organic matter that is living and growing.

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Cover crops can also provide weed suppression benefits by preventing the germination of weeds by covering them over with a canopy—especially perennial weeds that may germinate in the fall and annual weeds that may germinate in the spring. This last benefit is best achieved by using an overwintered cover crop such as winter rye, which has the added effect of actually suppressing weed seed germination by an allele pathic chemical reaction in the soil.

The addition of cover crops in the spring through flail mowing and incorporation will serve as a green manure, only further adding to their overall ecosystem services for your garden. Cover cropping is one of the top choices for putting your garden to rest in the winter.

Cover cropping is easy to do, too. You can simply remove your crop debris and broadcast or re-prepare by lightly tilling the beds and seeding. Or you can undersow with cover crops like clover and allow them to germinate in the canopy of the crop, such as squash, just prior to harvest.

However you slice it, cover crops are a multi-faceted way of keeping your garden in good shape in the fall winter and spring.

Crop Cover Cropping

Another type of cover cropping that is often overlooked is crop cover cropping. This is the process of leaving crop debris in your garden fields or beds in order to benefit from their protective services over the fall and winter. In the spring this would mean allowing late crops of lettuce to bolt and go in flower,…

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SurvivalBlog Recipe of the Week: Pam’s Pumpkin Soup.

The following recipe for Pam’s Pumpkin Soup is from SurvivalBlog reader Pam C.

  • 2 small sweet pumpkins — 2 pumpkins yield about 2 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, diced — 2 shallots yield ~1/4 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced — 3 cloves yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (home-made or store-bought)
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut off the tops of the pumpkins and then halve them.
  4. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and strings. You can save the seeds for planting or roasting.
  5. Brush the pumpkin flesh with oil and place face down on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the skin.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away the skin and set pumpkin aside.
  8. To a large saucepan over medium heat add olive oil, shallot, and garlic.
  9. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Turn down the heat if it is cooking too quickly.
  10. Add the remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a simmer.
  11. Transfer the soup mixture to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  12. Pour mixture back into your pot.
  13. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

This serves 3-to-4 adults.

Optionally, it can be topped with chopped kale.


Leftover soup keeps well in the fridge for up to a few days and in the freezer for up to a month or more.

Do you have a well-tested recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers? In this weekly recipe column, we place emphasis on recipes that use long-term storage foods, recipes for wild game, dutch oven recipes, slow cooker recipes, and any recipes that use home garden produce. If you have any favorite recipes, then please send them via e-mail. Thanks!

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US Economy Faces Crisis as Liquidity Dries Up and Household Debt Soars Crosses $17 Trillion.

Rising auto loan delinquencies, soaring national debt, and household liquidity predicted to vanish by May 2024. As household incomes witness the steepest drop since 2010 and crude oil prices skyrocket, the U.S is bracing for harsh economic times.

As the United States contends with an unprecedented rise in economic woes, preparing for what lies ahead is not only prudent but essential to your survival. Traditionally seen as the backbone of the American economy, the middle class is becoming increasingly synonymous with “the impoverished class,” signaling a critical moment in US history that demands immediate and substantial intervention.

Americans have lost over $7,100 in spending power since January 2021. 

While the average American family’s weekly paycheck is about $230 larger today, it buys about $100 less compared to when President Biden took office. Even more alarming, is according to a report by the Heritage Foundation, inflation during Biden’s reign has caused the average American family to lose around $7,100 in buying power.

Under Biden, prices have risen so much faster than wages that the average family has lost $5,800 in real annual income. That loss is thanks to the ‘hidden’ tax of inflation, caused by the Biden administration and congressional Democrats’ policies. Higher interest rates are now costing the typical family another $1,300 annually. Combined with a lower real income, this effectively costs families a total of $7,100 in annual income under Biden.

A hard look at our fiscal reality presents a pretty shitty picture, with the US national debt witnessing an alarming surge — up a staggering $1.5 trillion since the recent debt ceiling crisis. In the last three months alone, the government has added an average of $500 billion per month to the national debt, translating to a 54% increase in the last half-decade. Yet, the government seems to be on a relentless spending spree, with the CBO anticipating a $2 trillion deficit in the coming year as year-to-date interest expenses cross the $800 billion mark.

Adding to economic problems is the surge in crude oil prices, officially breaching the $90 mark for the first time since November 2022 — a 35% increase in just three months. This upward trend has resulted in an alarming depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR), leaving the US with less than 46 days of supply left in its reserves. The nation’s economic heartbeat seems to be fading with each passing day as excess household liquidity, currently standing at $1.4 trillion, is projected to completely dry up by May 2024, evaporating at a rate of $100 billion per month.

It’s hitting almost every economic sector!

Currently, the auto industry is smack dab in the middle of some real turmoil, with delinquency rates on auto loans reaching heights unseen since 2008, nearly doubling since the Federal Reserve initiated rate hikes in March 2022. The recent quarter saw a jump to 7.3%, a prelude to Moody’s prediction of a 10% delinquency rate by 2024. This has added to the crushing blow being felt by American households; the steady rise in used car interest…

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