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FRESHEN YOUR HOME FOR THE SPRING
OUT WITH THE DEAD, IN WITH THE SPRING
PROTECTING YOUR TOMATO PLANTS FROM WORMS
FOR FORSPRING SPRING
CREATING AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOME
CONTAINER GARDENS Beautiful pictures from the book "Containers in the Garden" by Claus Dalby Article: The Best Perrenials for Container Gardens by Stewart Konrad
OUT WITH THE DEAD IN WITH THE SPRING RECIPE
PROTECT YOUR TOMATO PLANTS FROM WORMS
RECIPE HAM & CHEESE QUICHE
THE HUNGRY LADYBUG
SHEDS, WOOD OR METAL?
RECIPE SEMI HOMEMADE SCONES
MAKE YOUR HOME ECO-FRIENDLY
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LETTER from the Editor
Executive Publishers Greg and Suzanne Fox Jumpstart Publishing, LLC
After a long cold winter all I want to do is feel the sun on my face and plant flowers! I've tried my hand at growing tomato plants more times than I can count, so you can imagine how excited I was when my writer gave me this article on protecting my tomato plants from worms! First things first, freshen up that garden and plant tomatoes! Why not plant a salad while you're at it! What I love about container gardening is, you can start your spring planting early because the plants stay warmer in the sun and I can move the pots around for the best sun and of course, the best view! Let us help bring character to your home and garden on a budget! We enjoy putting this book together for you and hope you will have fun trying something new.
Managing Editor Suzanne Polk Fox Editor Chad Ruiz Contributing Writers Tami Satchfield Patricia Danflous Stewart Konrad Creative Director Suzanne Fox Graphic Design Suzanne Fox Production Manager Suzanne Fox
Make a Joyful Spring! Suzanne Fox
SIMPLE WAYS TO FRESHEN FOR THE Spring
When the snowdrops poke from the ground and birds seek nesting spots, you know spring is around the corner. During winter, though, you might have neglected areas of your home, and the warm sunshine carries the call to update and spring clean.
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Windows take the full force of winter weather, protecting householders from chill winds and outdoor dirt. Get them ready for spring and let daylight flood inside. Wash your windows inside and out, and clean window treatments, too, like blinds and curtains.
De-junk and reorganize
Over winter, doubtless, clutter accumulated in your home, and an overhaul is in order. Tidy, reorganize, and de-junk your living areas. The space you gain and how airy the surroundings feel will amaze you. Take a room-by-room approach to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and decide how you intend to offload unwanted goods before you begin. You can distribute boxes and bags of junk as you go so they are out of the way.
People often leave clearing their gutters until they become clogged and inefficient. Sticks, leaves, and other debris can block them during the winter, and removing waste matter is a good idea before the spring rains come. Taking care of downspouts and gutters will mean they last longer and can do their job.
Refresh soft furnishings
Update throws, pillowcases, and duvets to refresh your home for spring. If your walls are already bright and colorful, choose subdued tones like dusky rose or soft eggshell blue. But if the interior paint colors in your home are basic, use fresh, vivid soft furnishings to enliven your surroundings. Alternatively, wash and air bedding, cushions, and other soft furnishings, so they smell more like mountain air than overwintered fabrics.
Bring spring indoors
When blossoms fill the neighborhood, you might think about bringing spring indoors so you can enjoy it there too. Hydrangea spring bouquets and foliage can beautify your home, and potted plants will also provide a sweet spring scent. Hyacinths, fragrant crocus, or lily of the valley are terrific choices for a spring aroma, and potted azalea, dwarf daffodils, and primroses will brighten windowsills and give you a feel-good boost. Freshening your home for spring will bring life and vitality indoors, and doing minor jobs like gutter cleaning and de-cluttering will make space. Do it with gusto! You will be pleased with the outcome!
MOST AMATEUR DO-IT-YOURSELF ENTHUSIASTS DON'T KNOW HOW TO PAINT METAL SURFACES AND THEIR BEST EFFORTS TEND TO PRODUCE UGLY FINISHES THAT ULTIMATELY PEEL AWAY. THIS IS BECAUSE THE PAINT HAS A DIFFICULT TIME ADHERING TO A SLICK, NONPOROUS METAL SURFACE. YOU CANNOT PAINT METAL AS YOU WOULD DRYWALL OR WOOD ITEMS BECAUSE BARE METAL SURFACES WILL NOT BOND WITH OIL OR LATEX PAINTS. IF YOU DON'T PROPERLY PREPARE THE SURFACE, FLAKING AND PEELING WILL INEVITABLY OCCUR. LEARN THE PROPER WAY TO GENERATE A LASTING FINISH ON METAL ITEMS, OR PAINT FAILURE WILL EVENTUALLY FOLLOW. CLEANING THE METAL
Before attempting to prime or paint metal, be sure to clean it with a degreasing soap. If you don't eliminate dirt and oils, the final finish will chip or peel. PRIMING THE METAL
To make sure your top coat sticks to the underlying surface, you need to apply an acidic primer that will roughen up the metal. Before attempting to paint metal surfaces, such as doors, patio chairs, roofs, cabinets or siding, apply an acid-based metal etching primer. Once the metal surface is primed, it will accept most any type of paint. PAINTING THE METAL
Painting metal is easy once the surface is properly conditioned with an etching primer base. Most amateurs prefer to roll paint over metal surfaces. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to ugly roller marks in the
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finish. For a slick finish, smooth the wet paint using a polyester paintbrush. SPRAY PAINTING METAL
Galvanized metal has a layer of zinc that inhibits rust. This makes it especially durable and resistant to oxidation. Fortunately, this layer is not impervious to standard metal-etching primers. Painting galvanized metal is no more difficult than painting any other metal surface, such as steel, wrought iron, aluminum or tin.
BEST PAINT FOR METAL SURFACES
Once metallic surfaces are primed, they'll accept almost any paint. There is no best paint for metal surfaces; however, some are better suited for certain types of metal. Paint metal siding with an acrylic latex paint; paint metal furniture and any other surfaces subject to duress, using enamel. While you can paint metal, you must take special precautions to promote adhesion. Once you properly prepare the surface, you can apply a beautiful finish that will stand the test of time.
OUT WITH THE DEAD IN WITH THE SPRING BY TAMI SATCHFIELD
Move existing mulch away from garden and reserve. Pull ALL weeds from mulch and from ground beneath.
Cut back woody winter perennials.
Remove all dead plants and shrubs.
Add a layer of fresh organic topsoil. Be sure to purchase soil enriched with vitamins.
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Return existing mulch to garden and turn, flip and fluff. You will purchase less mulch if you clean and fluff what is leftover from the previous year. Try rotating organic mulching materials from straw and bark mulch to keep your garden’s full appearance.
Have fun with your garden! Do not get frustrated if perennials fail to bloom and multiply the first year after planting. Most perennials require three full seasons to reach maturity. Plant some colorful annuals and have patience with your perennials.
more than 100 zones indicated on tags when purchasing plants. If you are purchasing plants from a nursery, ask questions! “Garden talk” is a great way to learn about plants, meet other gardening enthusiasts and enjoy spring cleaning your garden.
Always purchase plants that thrive in your specific zone.
Deadhead your flowers when they wilt. Deadheading means to remove the spent buds. Plants will be able to send energy to the bulb. Be sure to read tags concerning hardiness zones before purchasing plants. Always purchase plants that thrive in your specific zone. North America has
THE HUNGRY LADYBUG BY ANN BEALLE
NOT ONLY ARE LADYBUGS THE CUTEST INSECTS IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, THEY ARE ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO NATURALLY RID YOUR GARDEN OF PESTS.
Ladybugs are beneficial insects, which means they eat bad bugs that feed on garden plants. They have an especially voracious appetite for aphids, which are tiny, soft-bodied insects that multiply quickly and feed on sap. They also eat mites, lice, insect eggs and other soft-bodied insects. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, a single ladybug may eat as many as 50 aphids a day or 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.
HOW TO ATTRACT LADYBUGS TO YOUR GARDEN (AND KEEP THEM THERE) Plant ladybug food. Ladybugs love floral plants that provide nectar, so try planting flowers like geraniums and herbs like cilantro, dill, fennel and caraway. Order them in bulk online. When they arrive, store them in your refrigerator to calm them down. Release them during the early evening hours, when they are less likely to fly away. They will be thirsty, so make sure they have enough water. Set up shallow dishes with pebbles and fill them with water. The ladybugs will perch on the pebbles to drink the water. Say no to pesticides. Resist the temptation to spray if you see pests. If there are no pests for the ladybugs to feed on, the ladybugs will fly away.
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IS THE BANG WORTH THE BUCK? BY TAMI SATCHFIELD
Solar energy will never run out, doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases and is environmentally friendly. It is also sustainable, renewable and clean. Use of solar energy as a main source of power doubles every year. In China, India, Germany and states like California and Utah, solar energy is encouraged and sometimes even required.
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HOW DOES IT WORK?
Solar energy uses stored energy from sunlight and converts it to electricity for unlimited backup power. Products like water heaters, pool heating systems, attic fans and outdoor lighting systems are available due to the brilliant engineering behind modern usage of solar energy.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Solar panels on rooftops of homes and buildings are expensive in the short term and may even be an eyesore for some, but the long-term economical and environmental benefits are well worth the investment. Because of its complicated engineering, solar products are more expensive to install and to produce. However, using solar energy will save money after a period of time. Eventually, you will have no electricity bill and may even receive tax credit.
HOW TO GET STARTED Start conservatively. Try purchasing a few solar garden lights and enjoy the glow you receive at dusk from saving energy from sunlight throughout the day.
PROS AND CONS PROS: Solar energy is environmentally friendly, sustainable and clean and produces NO harmful greenhouse gases. Some states offer as much as a 30 percent tax credit, which makes the cost more appealing. CONS: It is expensive in the short term. According to researchers, it has low energy density compared to other energy sources. It is useless in low-light conditions, and is unreliable as a power source in cloud cover.
Research the possibility of a tax credit in your state by going to the website for the department of revenue and taxation in your state. If you are purchasing a home for remodel, consider including the cost of adding solar panels into your remodel budget. It is well worth it in the long run. If you plan to refinance in the future, consider adding the cost to your new loan.
5Container Gardens HAPPY PERENNIALS FOR BY STEWART KONRAD
Great container gardens mix and match plants in large containers, creating a constant stream of green and flower. The base of any good container planting is an easy-to-handle, fast-growing perennial that provides green year round, year after year, as other plants in the garden come and go with the seasons. Here are five lovely base plants for your container garden.
BABY'S BREATH GYPSOPHILA Though it looks unassumingly dainty with its thousands of little white flowers, baby's breath gypsophila is a surprisingly hardy, easy-to-grow plant, useable to cold reaches of zone 3. It grows well in any reasonable soil, though it does require full sun. It blooms in mid-summer, often followed by a second blooming in the fall, especially if encouraged by trimming wilted flowers. Gypsophila works exceptionally well for edging. It tumbles over the sides of containers with its masses of tiny pink or white flowers, making a good contrast with large flowers or leaves on plants in the center of
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EUPHORBIA, AKA SPURGE
Euphorbia is a large group of flowering perennials that are low maintenance in the right conditions. They like well-drained soil and partial to full sun, generally branching into many small stems topped with little flowers. Tiny Tim and blackbird euphorbia both grow about one foot high, in zones 5 to 9, with an intricate texture. If you're lucky, they may even attract butterflies. Some larger varieties of euphorbia also make great large central featured plants, such as chameleon euphorbia, which grows up to two feet tall with
deep-purple leaves and yellow flowers. It is hardy to zone 4.
Creeping jenny is a classic ground cover plant, with its long delicate stems and little, rounded flowers. Some gardeners find it too hardy, as it spreads out rapidly once it's gained a foothold, becoming a nuisance rather than an asset. However, when confined to a container, creeping jenny is an incredible plant-it-and-forgetit perennial, hardy all the way to zone 2. Its flowers last all through the summer and its leaves are evergreen, keeping your containers from becoming desolate and grey.
Blue Star Creeper BLUE STAR CREEPER
This perennial creates a dense mat of green, creating a wonderful surface for contrast with longstemmed flowers or fast-growing vines. Little blue flowers cover the plant in the spring, and like euphorbia, it makes an incredible edging flower. It needs partial to full sun and likes wet environments, requiring proper watering when there isn't rain. If given enough space in large planters, blue star creeper will create deep, long-lasting root systems, making it an excellent base for large containers. Nevertheless, it also transplants easily by separating clumps and replanting. It is hardy in zones 6 to 10.
Like creeping jenny, false spirea is an extremely hardy fast growing perennial, which left to its own devices tends to take over gardens.
Creeping Jenny However, it makes a great low-maintenance set-piece when confined to containers. It has large arching branch bunches covered in pointed leaves, giving it a hint of the tropical. This is the plant for you if you just want something big and easy, providing a variety all in one plant. It blooms in late summer with bunches of tiny white flowers that contrast nicely with its large, boisterous leaves, and despite its vaguely tropical looks, false spirea is hardy all the way to zone 2. Just two of the plants above, such as false spirea and creeping jenny, can make a reasonable container garden all by themselves. Or these plants can serve as the constant in a more active approach to gardening. Either way, easy-to-maintain, fast-growing perennials are a must for any container garden, keeping things active even when you don't have time for finicky annuals and slow-growing perennials.
Internationally acclaimed Danish garden designer Claus Dalby shares his signature Scandinavian-inspired techniques in the new book Containers in the Garden. Beauty, charm, and simplicity are the hallmarks of his style, creating a stunning visual display that’s a feast for the senses. Claus’s distinctive designs carry your garden through all four seasons by utilizing changing displays and seasonal plant choices. You’ll learn how to take Claus’s techniques and customize them to make a unique and stylish container garden all your own. You’ll meet dozens of captivating plants that perform beautifully in pots, and learn how to grow them from seed or transplant. Container garden care tips as well as ideas for reducing maintenance are found throughout. Dalby has been called “the Scandinavian Martha Stewart.” He is a designer, florist, and Danish gardener who has amassed a huge fan base in Scandinavia, the US, and around the world, at both You Tube and Instagram. He is also a successful publisher, television personality, and designer of glass vases for Holmegaard. His signature style of container gardening uses densely packed plants and changing seasonal displays, often in monochromatic color palettes. Claus also runs an online garden club with monthly subscribers from around the world. Spring
POTPOURRI BY BECKY TOWNSEND
It has been said that every house has its own scent, due to factors such as pet ownership, cleaning products, furniture, flooring choices and, of course, little niceties like candles and potpourri. Both candles and potpourri can work wonders in creating a warm, inviting atmosphere in your living space, but only the latter can work for you 24/7. Here, we show you how to create a signature batch of your very own.
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INGREDIENTS: Dried materials (petals,
buds, leaves, cones, seeds, herbs, spices, etc.) Scissors Baking sheet Parchment paper Scented oils Spritzer bottle Water Bowl
DIRECTIONS ❶ Collect dried materials from your home, garden or supply store. If necessary, cut into small pieces. ❷ Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. ❸ Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange all dried materials in single layer on sheet. ❹ Combine 10-20 drops of favorite scented oil(s) with
one tablespoon water in spritzer bottle and shake vigorously. Spray dried materials evenly until bottle is nearly empty. ❺ Bake approximately two hours with door open, watching carefully as scorched materials can ignite. ❻ Spray remaining scented oil mixture on dried materials, cool and display in decorative bowl.
WOOD OR METAL GARDEN SHEDS
arden sheds are suddenly surprisingly popular, because people have realized they can be used for much more than just storage space. You can use them to make your life more enjoyable, and to pursue projects you've never had the space for inside your house. You can make a garden shed into a work space for your favorite hobby. You could make it into a den for getting away for a while to just relax and listen to music. You could even make one into your own private gym. Before you buy a garden shed, though, you're going to have to make a decision: do you buy one made of wood or metal? Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of shed.
If cost is your main concern, then you should go for a metal shed. As a building material, metal is rather cheaper than wood. In fact, you can probably get a large metal shed for the price of a small wooden one.
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Ease of Assembly
Ease of assembly depends to some extent on the design and size of the shed. However, the parts for metal sheds come in fairly lightweight packages, so it is easy to lift and carry them. If ease of assembly is your greatest concern, metal is the way to go.
In general, if you want your garden shed to look great, you want a wooden shed. Metal sheds tend to look rather plain and utilitarian. Wooden sheds can look very elegant, and come in a wide variety of diffeent styles.
A metal shed is lightweight, but also solidly built. You won't damage one easily. A properly treated metal shed won't rust, either. Wood is vulnerable to mildew, water damage, and fire. Furthermore, wood can be damaged by termites and carpenter ants, a risk that metal sheds do not face. In general, metal sheds will require less maintenance than wooden sheds will.
As a rule, a metal shed can't easily be altered. You're limited to the looks available from the manufacturer. A wooden shed, on the other hand, can easily be changed or added on to, if you or a friend knows a little bit of carpentry. If you want a shed that can be changed to suit your changing tastes, go with a wooden shed.
Wooden sheds are better insulated than metal ones. They will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you have extreme temperatures where you live, a wooden shed might be your best bet.
Metal sheds are usually pretty lightweight. A metal shed can easily be picked up and moved from one place to another if you have a friend to give you a hand. If you intend to change your yard around a lot, you might want to get a portable metal shed so you can change it more easily. There are advantages and disadvantages to each kind of shed. In general, metal sheds are more cost effective and easier to deal with, and wooden sheds look better, and are more comfortable in hot and cold weather.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR TOMATO PLANTS
worms be gone O
ne of the most commonly grown plants in home gardens is the tomato plant. It is typically easy to grow and usually produces a healthy crop of tomatoes. Outdoor gardens are often invaded by insects, particularly if you prefer not to use pesticides. Although some insects are beneficial for your garden, including earthworms and ladybugs, many of these pests, such as cutworms, are not good for your tomato plants. Here is a look at the cutworm and what you can do to protect your plants from it.
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What Does the Cutworm Look Like? Identifying the type of pest in your garden is critical in determining what plan of attack to use to eliminate the danger it presents. The cutworm is a small caterpillar that is green in color. When Do Cutworms Attack? This type of pest is nocturnal, feeding during the night. Unless you come out with a flashlight during the night hours, you probably won't see them in your garden. Cutworms like to feed on tomato seedlings, so you should keep an
eye on the thin stems of these plants. If you notice signs that something is eating the stems, you need to take steps to protect your plants. How Can You Prevent Damage Caused by Cutworms without Using Pesticides? If you want to avoid the use of pesticides to prevent cutworms from destroying your tomato plants, you can build "collars" to place at the base of the plant. The collars prevent the worms from gaining access to crawl up the stems of your plants.
How Do You Build Tomato Collars? A tomato collar should be approximately four inches in height. If it is any shorter than four inches, the cutworms might be able to climb up and over. The diameter of your collar should be approximately ten inches. You can use any type of sturdy material to make the collar. Aluminum foil works well because it holds up to rain and morning dew. However, cardboard or heavy paper can also be used if you don't mind having to make new collars after a rainstorm. Measure
and cut a four-inch by a ten-inch strip of the material you have chosen. Staple it closed at the ends to keep it from falling apart. Place the collar around the base of the tomato plant Insects often find their way into a garden. While some of these bugs are good for the garden, many of them, including cutworms are not. Cutworms enjoy eating the stems of young tomato plants. To prevent them from getting to your plants, make a 4-inch by 10-inch collar out of a sturdy material and place it around the base of the plant.
SEMI -HOMEMADE WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES Scones are tea party staples, and there are lots of easy, delicious recipes floating around out there. Keep it simple with semi-homemade scones. INGREDIENTS 1 box Jiffy biscuit mix ½ cup orange juice ½ cup white chocolate chips ½ cup dried cranberries pre-made lemon icing
HAM & SWISS MINI QUICHE
Your guests will love these delicious, easy-to-make snacks. Whip up these bite-size hors d'oeuvres in no time at all with ready-made tart shells. INGREDIENTS 1 box of Pilsbury ready-made pie crusts (2 per box) 2 cups heavy whipping cream 6 eggs ½ Tbsp. white pepper 1 cup cooked, minced ham ¼ cup chopped green onions 2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
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DIRECTIONS 1. Using 4 inch biscuit cutter, cut out dough circles. Continue to re-roll scraps until all dough is used. 2. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray. 3. Press dough circles into muffin pan cavities. 4. Mix heavy whipping cream, eggs and white pepper by hand – do not use mixer. Set aside. 5. Mix ham, green onions and half of the cheese. 6. Spoon ham and cheese mixture into bottom of each shell. 7. Pour egg mixture on top. Be careful not to overfill. 8. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each shell. 9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until puffy and slightly golden. 10. Let set for 30 minutes before serving. Yields approx. 18 quiche.
DIRECTIONS ❶ Mix biscuit mix, orange juice white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. ❷ Form a 4-x 12-inch loaf, and flatten to 1 inch thick. Cut into rectangles of equal size, then cut each rectangle diagonally to form triangles. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. ❸ Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Scones should be light golden. ❹ While scones are cooling, warm icing until you achieve the right consistency. Icing should be thinner than regular cake icing. ❺ Drizzle over cooling scones.
MAKE YOUR HOME
ECO-FRIENDLY BY TAMI SATCHFIELD
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Even though as a normal person environmental issues can seem overwhelming and we can feel powerless, there are small and very easy changes that we can make that can make our house more eco-friendly and reduce our carbon footprint.
Many places now insist on separating glass from household waste, but you can also easily keep a separate bag or bin for plastics, cardboard, food waste, etc. It is also sensible to reuse plastic bags and bottles when possible, rather than simply throwing them out.
Check to make sure that your walls and roof are properly insulated to make your home more environmentally friendly as well as earning yourself savings on your energy bills. Ideally you should hire professionals to install insulation, but it can also be a fairly simple DIY project.
3. SMART METER
Smart meters are devices that can be programmed to turn the heating on and off
at certain times of the day. This will not only help you to live a more eco-friendly life, but it can also save you a lot of money.
4. EE LIGHT BULBS
EE light bulbs have advanced a long way in recent years and are now very common and economical, as well as helping the environment. They also provide savings in the long term, as well as not needing to be changed nearly as often as regular bulbs..
Food waste can be turned into compost for plant food. Composting bins are available at most hardware stores, and then it is simply a matter of putting them into the garden and putting any spare food into them and leaving it to mature.
6. LOW FLOW SHOWERHEAD Water waste is a huge problem, and many of us waste an unnecessary amount of water in the shower with low-quality, inefficient showerheads.
As well as providing a soothing effect, plants also go some way towards removing the indoor air pollution that many houses suffer from.
There are a number of ways to make your house more ecofriendly, many of them costing nothing or very little. A few small steps can mean that you are not only helping the environment, you are also saving yourself a lot of money.
Curtains are great for keeping the heat out in summer, and in in winter, making our homes more eco-friendly. Especially in bedrooms, nice thick curtains make a surprising difference in the temperature.
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