Ian's microfarm.

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Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:58 pm

I installed the several beds in my back and front yards over 6 months from July 2019 .

Project 1 - A 6m x 3m two level mega bed using 75x200 hardwood sienna sleepers and steel corner and joiner posts at the front of my house to take about 12cum clay and rock rich fill from escavation work done in my back yard to tidy up and enhance my driveway in prep for installing a free standing carport at the Sth end of my existing double garage .

Big issue - my front yard is not flat or level , so I had to use my engineering / vector calc skills to work out the volume of fill and soil using a numerical triple integral ( and 16 assay measurements taken using 3m spirit levels and string lines ) , I found my land profile E --> W was parabolic and I had a drop S --> N of 20cm . Volume determined I knew how much soil or once I had the fill in the bed and it was levelled = 10 cu m of premium garden soil needed to finish.

Excavator guy wanted $650 per truck load to take the fill away , and when I said no , wanted to spread this muck in the low end of my front yard ( would have created a boggy eyesore ) so I told him to leave it in a pile in the backyard - and decided to use it to create the base for a feature raised bed style garden in front our house ).


Was murder wheelbarrowing it up my steep driveway and took 2 days to do once the sleeper retaining wall in place and the concrete set.
10 x 1cu m bulkabags of premium garden soil on top and levelled in November 2019 , had to leave it fallow as we were in drought and on level 2 water restrictions , seeded with 2 worm bombs in March 2020 (told to leave the bed unused for at least 6 months to let the worms colonise the soil and enrich it and convert the clay under the soil to a rich aerated soil.
Planted nasturtiums in the top half of the bed in November 2020 .

3 JUL 2019 CONSTRUCTION
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WANTED TO KEEP GOOD DRAINAGE AND KEEP WHITEANTS AWAY FROM HOUSE FOOTINGS , so note the 20cm wide air gap between back of the bed and my house foundations
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ready take fill and top layer of soil
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Mt Nobbys in backyard
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fill going into big bed 8 Jul 2019
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and more on 9th Jul 2019
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Mt Nobbys is shrinking
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ready for 20cm depth of premium garden soil
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Filled 11 Jul 2019 waiting for installation of 20cm stepdown at 3m (midway) to make the bed level and flat in both halves.
Used SS step brackets to fix the 3m x 75mm x 3m sienna sleeper as the retaining wall for the top 1/2 of the bed.
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Finished bed prior to house paint job
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House exterior painted in November 2019 , another reason not to plant anything in the front bed (would have been trampled all over and destroyed by the painters).

Now = 5 Mar 2021 = exterior of house has been pressure cleaned and painted professionally , the lower half is still fallow , top ( southern half ) is growing mixed jewel nasturtions grown from seeds as a ground cover and make the bed look prettier.
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Have sown into coir mini-pots the following flowing plants to go into the front bed ahead of some larger native shrubs in the last few weeks :
Phlox ( flowering ) = phlox drummondii
Phalecia ( flowering ) = phacelia tanacetifolia
Dianthus ( flowering ) = diathus chinesis
Lavender ( flowering ) = lavandula augustifolia
Zinnia ( flowering ) = zinnia elegans
Aster ( flowering ) = callscephus chinerisis
Cornflower = centaurea cyanus
Got these seeds for free ( latest Woolworths' giveaways ).
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And ordered in some native bush tucker flowering shrub seeds ( BUSH FOODS COLLECTION SEED PK 4 )
Rock Lily = Bulbine glauca ( native flower , borders , rockeries , )
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bushy bluebell = Tadgell's bluebell = Wahlenbergia multicaulis ( native flowering herb)
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Both are self sowing if the flowers are left on the plant - great insect attracting plants.

Yet to be sowed , need presowing treatments first are :
Running Postman = kennedia prostrata
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requires hotwater treatment and soak in water for 24hr presowing.

snow berry = gaultheria hispida
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the berries ( edible )
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requires chilling in fridge for 3 weeks prior to sowing.


Will likely add a couple of grasstrees (Xanthorrhoea - there are local species endemic to my location and they are available in nurseries as seedlings) https://www.bushheritage.org.au/species ... mUQAvD_BwE
These have edible leaves ( a plus ) and look great in a garden.
Will also eventually put in some smaller Mimosoideae (wattle), Proteaceae (banksia) - likely as seedlings .
And some locally endemic Fabaceae (pea-flowered legumes / vines) and some Orchidaceae (native ground orchids) for structure , native attractants and habitat either as seeds or seedlings .

Might take another year or two to populate my 6x3m bed and the understory under my big gumtree with endemic flowering herbs and shrubs that will be benefical to native bees, insects (beetles, moths, butterflies), birds, reptiles and marsupials ( mainly possums and microbats here ).

I want to stick mainly to locally found (endemic flora) ie found locally and listed here
https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/023 ... a-2014.pdf
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm take 2.

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:05 am

Project 2
Create a raised bed garden bed to remove / hide the eyesore / cliff left in the middle of my backyard by the escavator guy when he was prepping for the concreter to
1) extend the garage slab from 6m x 6m to 9m x 9.5m
2) extend the driveway that used to end at the back of the house to the new slab
3) wide the bottom of the driveway to make for good access to the sth roller door of the old garage.

The slab and driveway extensions layed and set
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The problem area I wanted to convert from a dangerous fall hazards and eyesore to an asset and a great highlight for my back yard as off 12 Jul 2019 ( driveway and slab extension had cured and set so was OK drive on .

Cliffs left
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looking down driveway
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looking up driveway
south drop-off/ cliff adjacent to driveway

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80cm cliff in front of the driveway

The string lines and 4m spirit level came back out and I finally settled on a large hockey stick shaped raised bed made entirely from timber with a large level flat bed and step down to smaller bed infront of the garage.
The plan I had my Egyptian boat builder work off :
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Final fixed datum for level of bed.
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To make a better use of his time I hired a cantilevered petrol powered post-hole digger
https://www.kennards.com.au/post-hole-d ... ifications
to dig
> the 10 post holes required
> the 9 post holes for three 1.5m x 3m raised production beds (project 3)
> and the 6 post holes required for the big 6m x 1.5m raised feature bed at the back fence (project 4)

= 25 post holes ( 25cm diam x at least 0.5m deep ) took 3 days to dig using the machine - would have taken 3x longer by hand.

Setting the 100x100 F4 grade treated pine posts in concrete = a forest of 10 x 2.4m long posts in the ground - some as deep as 0.8m deep in concrete !! , in concrete 18 Aug 2019.
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Attaching sleepers to the posts required predrilling all holes first before using specially coated coach screws ( to ensure no corrosion once under the soil ).
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NOTE THE CONCRETE BLOCKS USED UNDER THE BOTTOM COURSE OF SLEEPERS = THESE ARE TO
protect the bottom pavers from wet rot ( this is the lowest point infront of my slab and we observed water ponding there that took a long time to drain ( clay is impervious to water )


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26 Aug 2019 - Is assembled and ready for fill and topping with 20cm depth of premium garden soil.

I had plans for the offcuts , very little of the offcuts of 75x200 sleepers and 100x100 posts went to waste.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:03 am, edited 5 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm take 2.

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:09 am

The underfence sleeper retaining wall Project.

To tidy up and reinforce the now precarious looking fence foundations I decided to using 75x200 x 3m sienna sleepers held in place by steel end and joiner posts , and filled the gap behind the retaining wall with bluestone ( good drainage ) .

Construction posts in ground in concrete 12 July 2019
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[img]]https://i.postimg.cc/MpXtfnf0/P7120386.jpg[/img]
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Install sleepers create strong retraining wall

capping retaining wall
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wall before final capping
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Last edited by kingofnobbys on Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:20 am

Those are some heavy duty builds. I'm glad to see that the beds are successful and growing some nice plants for you.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:08 pm

This is thread is the replacement for my thread that "timed out" / vanished that created as a "blog" while the builds were in progress , so I can capture these for others to see ( and maybe get ideas / inspiration ) and so I can keep my project separate from and not dilute or hijack Claud's similar thread.

I've learnt my lesson - yes I'm keeping Word copies the posts so I can instantly reinstate them if needed.
I'll likely set up a blog on my microfarm project eventually. Probably not in Facebook.

CooperDragon wrote:Those are some heavy duty builds. I'm glad to see that the beds are successful and growing some nice plants for you.


I want my beds to see us out , hence not skimping on quality , all heavy duty high quality materials and doing it right first time .

My wife and I are 63 y.o. and might still have 30 - 35 years in us , I don't want to have to repair these beds in 5 or 10 yrs time so going heavy duty with proper sealing and treatment I means the beds will still be in good shape in 20 to 30 yrs and will become a great value adding asset to the property.
It's been my experience and observation that cheaper builds don't last the distance and ARE a false economy, because they need regular repairs or rebuilding , so cost more in the long run.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:33 pm

Sure, it's almost always worthwhile to overbuild and use high quality supplies.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:09 pm

Project 3 = three 3m x 1.5m x 0.4m productive ( herb, veg ) beds spaced out along the north bdry fence & Project 4 = combo 6m x 1.5m x 0.6m retaining wall fruit tree bed ( along back (east) bdry fence ) .

Excavator-guy spread about 30cu-m of loose fill all over the northern half of my backyard when I told him I wasn't interested in paying him to take it away in his truck at $650 per load ( told me about 12 loads ) to the tip , ended as deep as 60cm at the back bdry fence , literally converting my nice grassy back lawn into a claybog , when excavator was gone on 12 July 2019.
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This is what happens when you are watching excavator operators like a hawk. Needless to say I was far from impressed.

This forced my hand and accelerated my long term plan of setting up some garden beds to try my hand at growing my own herbs , veggies , berries and fruit IN THE GROUND in RAISED GARDEN BED instead of in pots after my 2 previous attempts at to the same in 40cm selfwatering plastic Décor pots and troughs failed
> 1stly when all my 35 newly acquired cuttings and seedlings were stolen ( the thief took pots and all - suspect was next door neighbour ??? to take to his hobby farm ??? , their dogs never made a sound ! & he was quick to blame the kid I was paying to do my edging and mowing despite the kid not having a car or a truck , very suss ...)
> 2ndly after my insurance settlement 2nd attempt to grow the replacements (which took 18 months to source and acquire , very hard to find tropical fruits !) all died due to lack of watering in the deep drought of 2016-2018 where we were under Level 3 water restrictions (no plant watering allowed !) .

Spacing out the three (3m x 1.5m) "marketgarden beds" involved a little astronomy .

Use of astronomy & geometry & trig to work out offset and minimum bed height to get full sun in winter at noon.
The mathematical model ( a little basic trig , based on standard offset from fence = 1m , calculating minimum solar altitude angle based on set bed heights of 0.4m and a range of fence heights at 9am , noon , and 3pm for each month ):
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My calculations on solar altitude angle using GUIDE V9
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Just after my 3 small beds were completed and ready to be filled with loose fill and topped with 20cm of premium garden soil my neighbour suggested replacing the bdry fence with a taller Colorbond Fence ( was suggesting 1.8m tall ) Grr !!

As it turned out , when I started getting my own independent fencing quotes based on the fence height I wanted , my neighbour suddenly lost interest in replacing the boundary fence. So the fence has not been touched as a result .

He soon afterwards disappeared ( after his unapproved residential development = unapproved shed build then , then several year later an unapproved shed conversion to a "flat" . I believe he was caughtout , prosecuted and fined $45,000 , promptly left his wife in the lurch ( ran away ? ) and hasn't been back since , leaving the fit-out of flat's interior unfinished in November 2019.


Layout plans for beds :
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Dealing with the steep drop-off to back fence and slope downhill west to east in the backyard of the fill ( of variable thickness ) sectional layout and step downs bed to bed of 5cm moving west to east :
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Putting 100x100 F4 treated and sealed pine posts and 75mm steel corner posts in the ground using the cantilevered petrol powered hydraulic post hole digger for the three 3m x 1.5m , the 6m x 1.5m (ALL TIMBER) and the hockey stick shaped (ALL TIMBER) raised beds.
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Hossein the Egyptian back for a few days to set all the posts in concrete ( VERY CAREFULLY lining up the steel corner posts - only get one chance to get these plumb and properly lined up with quikset concrete - took nearly 3 days ).
26 July 2019.
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Installing the 200x75 sienna hardwood sleepers to assembling the raised beds
6 Aug 2019 , 6m x 1.5m bed ready for fill , I reinforced corners using hd ss step brackets .
3m x 1.5m beds' assemblies started
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closeup of 6m x 1.5m and 3m x 1.5m bed constructions
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19 Aug 2019
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My carport project nearing completion - just needs back screen
31 July 2019
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Carport complete 19 Aug 2019 , very pleased with it.
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One bed left to finish building ( note the shape of the steel corner posts )
My pile of useful sized offcuts of 100x100 posts and 75x200 sleepers ready to be turned in useful stuff.
26 Aug 2019
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The unapproved uninvited yard invasions start , never even asked me for permission , words were had and I read the riot act to the next door neighbour , not my problem that they have only 30cm between the fence and the new wall being attached to their carport ( at this stage no mention was made of the conversion of carport+dble garage to a flat ).
29 Aug 2019
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30 Aug 2019 at this point I saw red , confronted the neighbour , read the riot act to them again and told them I will be calling the cops (trespass was continuing along with willful damage to my property) and I wanted their dodgy structure gone and them to stay the hell out of my yard which they'd churned up into a sticky bog.
I also had no interest in being held financially responsible if any of them slip and hurt themselves by falling into or onto my beds because they insisted in working in torrential rain.
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Took a 2 weeks for the bog to dry , and for us to be able to finish building the last of the raised beds.
21 Sept 2019.
Completed beds in northern half of my back yard ready to be filled with loose fill and premium garden soil on top
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Started Project 5 = 6m x 1.2m security/privacy screen.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:08 am

Project 5 is the supersized 6m x 1.2m privacy / security mesh screen fixed to the back wall of the 6m x 1.5m combo retaining wall - raised bed .
The design I came up with used offcuts from the 100x100mm x 2.4 F4 pine posts as the main supports.

Idea based on this ( I saw in gardening site online )
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The design I came up with
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used 75 x 75 x 75 x 4mm Hot Dipped Galvanised Angle Brackets to fix the lower 100x50 F4 rails to the 100x100 F4 posts.
plan layout showing details
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A view of the finished 3m x 1.5m , 6m x 1.5m + 1.2m x 6m privacy/security screen on 22 Sept 2019.
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Prior to starting structural repairs to garage roller door support frame ( dry-rot in front structural pine framework , and repairs to garage Hardieflex cladding , prior reguttering the garage ( old gutters badly corroded ) and installation of door trimming and painting of door trim.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12976
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:43 am

Project 6 - paving between beds and between beds and garage , laying new turf .

Spent a lot of time while my garage was being repaired by Hossein the Egyptian designing the layout for 400x400mm , and 300x300mm + 400x200mm concrete pavers to give a nice flat and firm work area in the areas around the 1.5m x 3m and 1.5m x 6m and the hockeystick beds and the northern edge of the garage slab , incorporating a shallow bluestone filled drainage trough reinforced by 75x200 sleeps.
Also pricing new turf to cover the remaining area of bare dirt ( about 150 sq m ).

But this all proved unnecessary as summer and warm weather returned and by the time beds were filled with loose fill and soil , and the garage was repaired, and house painted , the grass had recolonised the excavator fill area , and there were very few areas of bar dirt left by March 2020. Hence saving me several $1000.

Project 7 - filling the beds in backyard with loose fill , and topping with premium garden soil 20cm deep.

Decided it would be a good idea to line the raised beds interiors with geotextile before adding fill and topping with premium garden soil , to help keep soil in the beds and grass from lawn out.

Requirements after adding loose fill .
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Decided to forgo the topping with mulch for now.

Ordered in 14 x 1 cu-m bulkabags of premium garden soil , 12cu-m to finish the back beds delivered 25 Nov 2019..

Hired a 4x4 table top tipper ute FOR A FULL WEEKEND to make it lots easier to transfer the premium garden soil from the bulkabags deposited on my green strip to backyard , were the soil was shovelled into my 115L Gorilla 4W tipper - barrow and then to the beds.
2 ute loads per cu-m (bulkabag) beats 9 x 115L barrow loads per bulkabag..

Turned out because Hossein was watering down the new soil in back beds, and hence reducing the void fraction some
<< watering down the dry aerated soil with lots large voids between particles forces the smaller finer particles into the voids and makes the soil more "compacted" ie lowers void fraction significantly , ie 2/12 ~ 17% >>
I ended up being 2 cu-m premium garden soil short so needed a delivery of loose premium garden soil onto a tarp on my greenstrip ( didn't want to risk a tipper truck loaded 5 T of soil on my nice new driveway ) , getting a small delivery of 2 x bulkabags of garden soil as separate delivery was prohibitive expensive , but pretty cheap as loose soil via mini-tipper truck.

The 6m x 3m bed had shown some soil settling ,an extra 2 cu-m of premium garden soil fixed that delivered 26 Mar 2020.
Beds were ready for plants by 26 MAR 2020.

6x3m bed topped up.
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Last 2 cu-m premium garden soil delivered 26 Mar 2020.

Last ( top 3x1.5m ) bed finished.
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No point installing the drip irrigation system I had ordered as Lake Macquarie still in Lev2 water restrictions. Beds to go farrow til
1) have enough seedlings big enough to transplant
2) water restrictions are relaxed
3) the beds have been colonised by earthworms.

Veg and herb seedlings sold out EVERYWHERE from mid March 2020 , shopping by phone with every nursery , hardware and garden supply shop within 1 hour drive revealed no one had an seedling vegs or herbs or fruit plants in stock and no one knew they 'would see bulk wholesale deliveries , most were also sold out of veg and herb seed packets too , so no option but to buy my plants as seeds and to go direct to the seed wholesale outlets and order my seeds in bulk online , was told there was a long wait list , and I'd have seeds order filled when they could supply , and it might take a month or two to work through the backorders ahead of me.

Well at least my garden beds were ready to go.

Shed roller door framingwork replaced , garage door trim installed, shed guttering renewed and shed cladding repaired/replaced ( new Hardieflex sheating ( screwed down this time ) ) and shed painted ( trim only ) , and beds ready.
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We go into voluntary social isolation for our own protection by the end of Feb 2020 and were very reluctant to have strangers and contractors at our home .

Seeded all bed with earth worm bombs ( one bomb per small bed, 2 bombs for the 6m x 3m and also the 6m x 1.5m beds , and 1 bomb for the hockey stick bed ). Told to give the earthworms at least 6 months to colonise the beds and convert clay fill to good aerated soil.

Garden Worm Bomb – 8 Tubs (Eggs equivalent to ~8,000 worms) x 1, Garden Worm Bomb - Single Tub (Eggs equivalent to ~1000 worms) . Ordered 13 Apr 2020.
Beds "bombed" 1 May 2020.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:37 am, edited 6 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:04 pm

Setting up My Microfarm Seed-bank

I spent a few weeks boning up on how to propogate herbs , veggies and other edibles ( berries , etc ) from seed and came up with a long list of interesting herbs , veggies, berries and companion plants , and beneficial insect-attracting , bird attracting and habitat ( mostly natives ) , and then set about searching online to find commercial seed sellers who had these.

I also contacted some local relatives to ask if they'd be interesting in sharing the costs if I buy the seeds in bulk lots and what edible plant varieties they wanted added , the idea being we split costs equally and maybe if they don't have ready to used garden beds , they could help my wife and out with some weeding and cultivating while growing their share of vegs and herbs in my beds .
My nephew who lives only about 2km away came on board , since he has 4 in his household to feed and at the time his partner had last her job ( due to the NSW covid lockdown ) and he was required to work from home ( a mining geoscientist employed by a steaming coal mining company ) and they were finding it hard to get sufficient fresh fruit & veg at the supermarkets, no one at the time knew how bad the food security issue might become or if the pandemic was going to get really bad here ( like it was at the time in Italy, Spain, NYC, UK and France and China ), the worse was expected.

By the time Shayne had given me his list , I already had some online veg, herb and berry plant seed orders placed, enough for my wife and I to get started , then Shayne and I got together my email and settled our combined list and qualities and I placed the combined order on the promise he'd fix me up with his half of the cost when the order arrived , the supplier told me they were overwhelmed with orders from all over Australia and there was very long queue of customer orders ahead of my order and it was likely to take several weeks to reach my order ( in chronological order ) .

While waiting for the seed orders to show up in the mail I got organised and set up a MicroFarm Spreadsheet where I summarised all the key propogation , cultivation and seasonal aspects for the seeds on hand ( some seeds already in hand in my stash under the laundry sink in sealed jars , some over 10 yrs old = dubious fertility / viability ) .

My spreadsheet (screen dumps) , seasonal is southern hemisphere orientated ( reverse if north of equator , feel free to use my data if you find it handy )
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Very recent additions ( freebies from Woolworths)
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direct links
https://i.postimg.cc/WzDRtwZR/screenshot-92.png
https://i.postimg.cc/rwqkNxX4/screenshot-93.png
https://i.postimg.cc/9ftwNGrj/screenshot-94.png
https://i.postimg.cc/YjKpHssD/screenshot-95.png
https://i.postimg.cc/kgCbN1gy/screenshot-96.png
https://i.postimg.cc/RhrFSh3T/screenshot-98.png
https://i.postimg.cc/d1GF9B18/screenshot-99.png
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woolies
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I also placed orders for gardening tools ( we didn't have much and nothing heavy duty / long handled << I'd only grown stuff in pots >> ) and I sourced on Amazon biodegradiable coir seedling pots & seed raising trays ( no one local had these left in stock either ), and had to hunt about by phone to find a gardening centre who still had seed raising potting mix in stock ( the stuff like seedlings & pots , seed raising tubes and trays , and potting mix , was like gold dust by now ( April ) and was flying off the pallets as quick as it arrived on the trucks ).
2 x 10kg bags seed raising mix were procured and delivered and stashed in the spare bedroom in a spare 35L plastic archive box.

Planted as seedlings or cuttings in 40cm Décor Selfwatering Posts
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Ran some experiements with herb cutting in water to get to them to grow roots from August thro to November which will be shown later , sprouted OK on the windowsill , and were OK when planted in seedraising mix in mini coir pots until the long heatwave with very dry weather arrived in January 2021 , and we were back into Lev 3 water restrictions due to the extended heatwave - all died lack of water.

Also did some test sowings of some herbs and veg and greens from about August but again a flop as these were OK til the hotwater hit and we didn't get them into the beds soon enough - all died in the heatwave and through lack of water ( see above ) .

Only seeds sowed in my first batch that have survived and are flourishing are my Mixed Gem Nasturtiums - they've literally taken over the entire top 1/2 of my 6m x 3m feature bed , covering nearly 9 sq-m after we transplanted them from the 600cc converted food tub to the bed in September.
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Discovered nasturtiums are very readily propogated from cuttings as well as being self seeding. So when we have some mature enough shrub and ground covering native herbs and flowers to go into the big 6m x 3m bed , we'll cut back the nasturtium and propogate some cuttings to plant in the little verge between the south bdry fence and the sleep retraining wall along the entire length of the retraining wall to beautify this and attack insects, birds and more skinks ( and local wild eastern water dragons , eastern bearded dragons and Jacky dragons ) into the yard , wont mind if the possums visit too.

Only cuttings that have survived are two of the Pomegranate cuttings in a 40cm Décor selfwatering pot on my front patio , one is growing like crazy , but the other is doing very well too.
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My Black Mulberry seedling also in an 40cm Décor selfwatering pot is thriving and I've even got small mulberries forming on it, it likes the spot on the front patio too. It's grown from a 2ft tall seedling to 3ft tall in 12mths and been through it's first winter dormancy.
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berries forming
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We are now in Level 2 water restrictions and the forecast is relaxation to Level 1 soon as we've had a very wet summer ( last half of Jan , all of Feb and so far Mar due to the El Nino and very strong northern Monsoon this year ) , dams are getting very full , and many coastal rivers on the north coast of NSW and in Qld have been in flood .
Still too early to install the automated drip irrigation system in my beds in the back yard.

Seeds sowed 2021, experimenting with cliplock bag seed sowing as a trial ( handy way to see how many seeds are viable before sowing these once they've started generating roots and leaflets ).

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Last edited by kingofnobbys on Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:22 pm, edited 8 times in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:34 pm

I have the same type of chart for when to start seeds/transplant/direct plant. Quite handy.

Personally, I found the coir pots to be a hassle. I still use them, but it's only to use up what I have left. I now am just using a slightly higher grade of plastic pots (still quite cheap if buying in bulk) that will last at least a few years.
My problem with the coir pots was that the pot itself leaches moisture from the soil, and then you have all that surface area of the wet pot exposed to the air, you lose a lot of moisture quickly. Not the biggest deal, but I found I had to pay more attention to them than other methods.

As far as seed starting mix, it's readily available here, but it's expensive. I've been using a really simple seed starting mix that I have seen a ton of people on youtube using. I bought a big bag of compressed peat moss, it was CHEAP! and a big bag of perlite. The big bag of perlite wasn't very cheap, about 20 bucks or so, but I have made so much dang potting mix with it, that it has easily paid for itself already. And i've only used about 10% of it. Anyways, the recipe is just 5 parts (by volume) peat moss to 1 part perlite. Adjust it a little if you need to. The seedlings really don't need any added nutrients for a few weeks of their life, but you can add a mild fertilizer to the mix if you want. I don't, just apply a little bit of dilute liquid fertilizer to the seedlings once they are 2-3 weeks old. But I made a whole wheelbarrow full of seedling mix for probably 2 bucks.
And I still have enough supplies left over to make enough to last me another 5 seasons it seems.

For reference, this is the peat moss I bought:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-cu-ft-Pea ... /205883917
Still have over half of it left after 2 seasons. Good stuff too to add to your bed to air your mix or add organics.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:13 pm

Claudiusx wrote:I have the same type of chart for when to start seeds/transplant/direct plant. Quite handy.

Personally, I found the coir pots to be a hassle. I still use them, but it's only to use up what I have left. I now am just using a slightly higher grade of plastic pots (still quite cheap if buying in bulk) that will last at least a few years.
My problem with the coir pots was that the pot itself leaches moisture from the soil, and then you have all that surface area of the wet pot exposed to the air, you lose a lot of moisture quickly. Not the biggest deal, but I found I had to pay more attention to them than other methods.
I bought a few hundred of the 2x2" x 10 per sheet in bulk from Amazon , so will be using these for a while - idea is to ideally raise seeds / seedlings in these and simply take bottom off and transplant the seedlings direct in the garden beds in the coir potlets which will break down and become part of the soil as compost << provided the potlets are NOT OVERCROWDED with seedlings , hence my experiment now with sprouting seeds on damp paper towels in sealed zip bags >>

As far as seed starting mix, it's readily available here, but it's expensive. I've been using a really simple seed starting mix that I have seen a ton of people on youtube using. I bought a big bag of compressed peat moss, it was CHEAP! and a big bag of perlite. The big bag of perlite wasn't very cheap, about 20 bucks or so, but I have made so much dang potting mix with it, that it has easily paid for itself already. And i've only used about 10% of it. Anyways, the recipe is just 5 parts (by volume) peat moss to 1 part perlite. Adjust it a little if you need to. The seedlings really don't need any added nutrients for a few weeks of their life, but you can add a mild fertilizer to the mix if you want. I don't, just apply a little bit of dilute liquid fertilizer to the seedlings once they are 2-3 weeks old. But I made a whole wheelbarrow full of seedling mix for probably 2 bucks.
And I still have enough supplies left over to make enough to last me another 5 seasons it seems.

I'm not fertilizing my seeds in the mix .

I will be getting some perlite ( it helps hold moisture ) .



For reference, this is the peat moss I bought:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/3-cu-ft-Pea ... /205883917
Still have over half of it left after 2 seasons. Good stuff too to add to your bed to air your mix or add organics.

The Woolies Freebies come with a little disks of peat coir moss , add water and it swells by about 40x in volume.
It's available as 60L packs , comes as dry compressed brickette , add water and it grows from brick sized to 60L in volume.
http://www.brunnings.com.au/coir-power- ... -2210.html
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Lot of skink and frog keepers use it when expanded to mix with Kritters' Crumble or gum tree leaf litter to create beddings for their pets. I have a Brunnings Coir Power Coir-Peat Brick stashed in my skink storage tub that's not been used yet.




-Brandon
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:25 pm

Seeds in germination in March 2021
Batch1
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Batch2
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The pot maps for batches 1 and 2
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Progress with ziplock sprouting experiment , roots already sprouting ( can be hard to see with the smaller seeds ).

cherry tomatoes after 2 days
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golden acre cabbage after 2 days
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sugarloaf cabbage after 2 days
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silverbeet after 2 days
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spring onions after 2 days
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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12976
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:49 pm

ZIPLOCK BAG SEED GERMINATION EXPERIMENT UPDATE 8 MAR 2021 (@ 6 DAYS )

My minimalist seed germination greenhouse = 2L Décor ClearView airtight tub placed standing on long side on bookshelf in lounge room
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SUMMARY
Gave the all a squirt with water and resealed with a little entrained air to replentish CO2 in sealed ziplock bags.
No evidence of mold forming , very few non-viable seeds.

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TAPROOTS FROMING
cherry tomato
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GREEN BUDS FORMING
chives
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oregano
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FIRST PROTOLEAFS FORMED
chives (?)
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spring onion (?)
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silver beet
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sugarloaf cabbage
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golden acre cabbage
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prosperity tomato
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gross lisse tomato
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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12976
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm

Re: Ian's microfarm.

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:02 am

9 MAR SEEDS IN POTS UPDATE

Sumary
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Batch 1
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Batch 2
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CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
kingofnobbys
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Posts: 12976
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 10:56 pm
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