Weekly Share October 3rd – 9th

Mesclun Salad Mix
Mustard Greens or Broccoli Raab
Biscayne Cubanelle Peppers
Romano Beans or Okra
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Bok Choy
Basil
Garlic
Extra: Asian Eggplant

Due to the extremely dry weather we have had this season, our basil has thrived for four long months, but now it is coming to an end. Two weeks ago when we finally got some rain, 3” in 12 hours, it was from a storm coming from the south and it brought with it the pathogen, Peronospora belbahrii, also known as basil downy mildew. This disease has only been in the US since 2006, so it is relatively new. There are many efforts being made to find basil varieties that are resistant and since our 2nd year here in Prince Edward, we have had to adopt many measures to lengthen our basil season, such as wider plant spacing, growing a succession under cover, and using drip irrigation. The pathogen spreads quickly in humid and warm (70-80 degree) temperatures, so we were pretty resistant this Summer what with high temperatures and little moisture. Alas though the past two weeks has been mild wet, and gray, never seeming to dry up and so this coming week will be our last harvests as the plants are becoming riddles with the disease. We are sending everyone basil, it may show some signs of yellowing or mold spores on the under sides of the leaves. This does not affect the flavor at all, but this basil will not hold as long as usual. We highly suggest taking a little time this week to preserve what you have by making pesto, basil oil, or drying leaves for later use. There will be a small handlful of garlic in your share too so why not preserve a bit of Summer for a cold Winter day.
The rest of this share has an unusual mix of items. You might notice the greens and quick root crops are beginning to pour in. The hakurei turnips make an amazing stir fry with bok choy, cubanelle peppers, and a few greens, or add a few thinly sliced turnips to the bok choy with oyster sauce and pepper recipe below. Always a favorite is the broccoli raab paired with sausage and pasta as well as a few Japanese recipes that could make up a delicious simple meal, especially if paired with a simple soy sauce dressing green salad. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce and Bell Peppers
Orecchiette With Sweet Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Pesto – Marcella Hazan
Deep Fried Okra and Eggplant in Broth Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
2 cups rapeseed or cold-pressed sesame oil
6 small to medium Okra
6 small Japanese Eggplant
1 2/3 cups Noodle Dipping sauce
1 Tbls slivered ginger
Line a cookie sheet with several sheets of folded newspaper and top with a layer of paper towels. Set next to the stove. Heat oil in a deep, round frying pan (such as a wok) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
Make a small lengthwise slit near the tip of each okra with a sharp knife so the steam can escape, or they may pop open in the hot oil. Cut ¼” deep lengthwise slices into the eggplant skin at ¼” intervals following the natural curve of the eggplant to create a wavy pattern from top to bottom. Fry the okra quickly until no longer raw but not wilted, then drain on the paper towel-lined cookie tray. Slip the eggplants into the oil and fry gently for several minutes, turning occasionally, until the eggplant has softened. Remove the eggplant and drain.
Arrange each eggplant in a small bowl so the bottom is fanned out and rest and okra pod attractively against the golden- and purple -ribboned flesh. Ladle in a scoop of noodle dipping sauce, sprinkle with the slivered ginger, and serve immediately. Variation: Substitute green beans instead of okra if the season coincides with eggplant in your region.
Noodle Dipping Sauce Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
This sauce can be served hot or cold, depending on the season. Good for dunking udon, soba, and somen noodles.
11/3 cup Dashi
6 Tbls Kaeshi
Flavor the dashi with the kaeshi and use at room temperature, cold, or slightly warm, depending on your mood or the season.
Kaeshi
½ cup hon mirin
11/8 cup organic sugar
2 cups organic soy
Bring the hon mirin to a simmer over high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until you no longer smell alcohol (3-5 minutes). Stir in the sugar and continue cooking (and stirring) until the sugar granules have dissolved. Add the soy sauce and watch as the kaeshi heats up and comes almost to a boil. You will see tiny bubbles form on the perimeter-remove the pan from the heat as soon as the entire surface of the kaeshi becomes a creamy tan from minute bubbles. Store for up to a year in the fridge.
Dashi
1 (6”) length of Konbu
Handful of dried bonito shavings
Place the konbu in a medium saucepan containing 2 cups of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (you will see minute bubbles form on the edges of the konbu) and remove the konbu. Throw in the dried bonito shavings and simmer friskly, but not crazily, for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 8 minutes. Set a small fine-mesh strainer over a 1-quart measuring cup and pour the dashi through the strainer to remove the dried bonito shavings. You should have 1 1/3 cup dashi. If you do not, add water (pouring through the strainer holding the strained katsuobushi) to make the amount of liquid needed. Use within a day or so, if kept chilled in the fridge.
Bitter Greens with Dashi
  Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
2 small bunches (1 1/3lb) Bitter Greens: mustard, turnip, or komatsuna
1/3 cup Dashi
2 Tbls Soy Sauce
2 Tbls freshly shaved katsuobushi or 3 Tbls hanakatsuo
Bring a large pot of hot water to a boil and place a large bowl of cold water on the kitchen sink. Hold the bunches of greens by their tops and lower the stems into the boiling water. Count to ten or twenty, then drop the greens into the pot and cook an additional 1-3 minutes. Scoop out the greens with a strainer and dump them immediately into the cold water. Turn on the tap and plunge your hands into the water, lifting the greens up directly into the stream of cold running tap water to cool them. Pull out a few connected strands and squeeze down the length of the greens to express the excess water. Ley the greens on the cutting board, cut off the end tips, and slice into 2” lengths.
Squeeze the greens one more time and arrange the clumps attractively on a medium-sized saucer with the cut sides face up. Season the dashi with soy sauce, pour over the greens, and sprinkle with shaved katsuobushi right before serving.
Variation: Also nice with some slivered citrus peel, such as yuzu or meyer lemon. Although in this case I would cut back, or omit the katsuobushi.
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Weekly Share Sept 26th – Oct 2nd

eggplantprosperosa_sept2016Arugula or Mesclun
Radish or Salad Turnip
Turnip Greens
Tomatoes
Eggplant or Okra
Padron or Sweet Peppers
Storage Onions

Spicy Sauteed Okra with Collard and Turnip Greens
Grilled Eggplant and Greens with Spiced Yogurt
Chicken and Roast Eggplant-Tomato Tacos with Turnip Salsa
Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon, and Radish Tops
Duck Breast With Mustard Greens, Turnips, And Radishes
THE BEST EGGPLANT SHAKSHUKA, OR HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH BREAKFAST
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Weekly Share September 19th – 25th

ThaiEggplantLettuce (Red Leaf, Canary Tongue, or Bibb Romaine)
Eggplant (Thai, Asian long, or Middle Eastern)
Daikon Radish
Nelson Carrots
Romano Green Beans
Anaheim & Cubanelle Peppers
Khmer Thai or Aji Dulce Chiles
Thai & Paneng Basil
Garlic

This weekend we hopefully wait for the coming storm. For the first time in over a month it looks likely that we will get some rain sometime between tonight and Monday evening. We cannot begin to express how important even the smallest amount of rain would be for our crops and land right now. It has been over a month since we got any precipitation and that was only 1/10th of an inch. Since mid June, we have had around 4 inches of rain total with 3 inches of that in a two-day period in late July. This lack of precipitation coupled with three very hot and sunny months have meant our land is currently very dry. So dry that we can run a hose in one spot for 3 minutes and it never saturates, rather the water disappears. One can imagine that these are not ideal conditions for beginning cool crops for the Fall and Winter season; but that is why adequate irrigation systems are a necessity for an efficient farming system. As we stated last month improving our own irrigation system is now top priority for our Winter projects, so we can more adequately care for our crops as well as minimize our labor in times of heavy irrigation. For us this feels like a drought; but ironically there are many places around the world that deal with these conditions most of the time. Virginia normally has lots of water, not always when we want it, with humid conditions and heavy soil, normally we retain good amounts of soil moisture. We are not used to thinking in terms of water conservation in order to survive drought conditions, a real luxury compared to so many farmers around the world. It has made us realize we must be smarter by implementing an efficient system both in terms of labor and water usage. We must be better prepared, thinking about methods for better soil moisture retention, looking for crop varieties that are tolerant to hot and dry conditions and saving seeds from plants that can withstand this current Summer. As painful as the last six weeks has been for us, struggling to get our Fall and Winter crops started, this is the part of farming that keeps us farmers present, focused, and thoughtful. Normally we struggle with wet or humid and warm Summers, where diseases thrive and so we are anticipating those effects; but the weather turned it all around on us this Summer and gave us a whole new set of conditions to react to. This is why we always look so exhausted and yet it keeps us on our toes and keeps us coming back for more.
We are excited to offer a few new elements to the share this week. This group of vegetables can inspire delicious southeast Asian dishes. We are adding a few sprigs of the Paneng Basil, which is a Thai Lemon basil, to your regular Thai Basil bunch. Use it for garnish on curry or to add to a salad. It has a distinct lemon aroma and is delicious, although slightly tannic. The daikon are young baby daikon; which will be delicious both raw and cooked. Please check out the recipes below, specifically the Eggplant with Thai Basil recipe, a favorite in our house especially when using the Thai round eggplants. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Thai Basil, Pepper and Green Bean Stir Fry
Shortcut Banh Mi With Pickled Carrots and Daikon
How to make those classic Pok Pok wings at home
Daikon Radish Greens Pasta with Seared Daikon, Chilies, Garlic and Lemon
Scrambled Peppers and Eggs
Roasted Eggplant With Fried Onion and Chopped Lemon
Eggplant with Thai Basil
1 lb eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
4-5 cloves garlic
1-2 medium sized fresh red or green chilies (or sweet bell pepper for the meek)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 bunch Thai basil
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch rounds and fry them over medium high in a wide skillet with ¼ inch of canola or other frying oil. When things get going, the eggplant slices will absorb the oil and you will gradually see it penetrate through to the top.  Make sure that they don’t get too brown on the bottom before this happens.  If the eggplant slices absorb all the oil and still don’t look wet, you must add more—but don’t worry, because they will release much of it as they cook.  When they look like they have absorbed enough oil and they start to get nice and brown on the bottom, flip them over and brown them on the other side.  If the pan is dry at this point, don’t add more oil because the slices have absorbed enough to fry themselves.  When they’re done, drain the slices on paper towels
Meanwhile, cut the garlic into slices and the chilies into diagonal rings.  When the eggplant is ready, remove it and add 2 Tbsp of fresh oil to the pan, add the garlic and half the chilies, and stir-fry until the garlic is golden.  Add the soy sauces and sugar, stir for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to bubble, and return the eggplant to the pan.  Add torn basil leaves, stir and serve, garnished with the rest of the chilies (if you dare!)
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Weekly Share September 12th – 18th

Red Round Radish
Arugula, Salad Mix, or Little Gem Heads
Sweet Peppers (Giallo di Asti, Corno di Toro Rossa, Carmagnola)
Poblano Peppers
Jalapeno or Serrano Peppers
Romano Green Beans
Zephyr Summer Squash
Okra (Clemson Spineless)
Verona Plum Tomato
Genovese Basil

Green Bean, Sweet Corn + Summer Squash Salad with Basil Dressing

Roasted Poblano Crema

Lady in red: a traditional African okra soup recipe

Orzo with Summer Squash and Pesto

Mediterranean Okra and Tomato Stew

Summer Bean and Radish Salad

Homemade Focaccia + Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Sandwiches

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Weekly Share August 29th – September 4th

Parsley
Eggplant
Summer Squash
Heirloom Tomatoes
Arugula or Salad Mix
German White Garlic
Padron, Cubanelle, or Sweet Peppers

We cannot believe how time flies. The end of August and the end of our Spring/Summer share season. Finally we are caught up with our fall and winter seeding and planting, thanks to the small group who has been helping out through the Summer. Our CSA workday last Sunday was also such a treat as we were able to open up some finished crop land for future planting and fall cover cropping, an essential step in our long-term soil improvement practices. In many ways we are more “caught up” than we have ever been this time of year, although there is always a long to-do list. It is a struggle when the Summer is so hot to get the Fall crops going strong. We cannot even begin to think about seeding spinach in these temperatures. So we patiently wait and try to get as many crops in the ground as possible. Nursing them along by irrigating and addressing pest issues. At this point we would appreciate some low 80’s temperatures and some rain just to get our fall seeding germinating sufficiently and our transplants thriving. This very hot and dry summer (out in Prince Edward county we have had little rain for the past 2 months) has made us realize how much we need to address our inefficient irrigation system. It is simply not adequate for our needs as during this current weather we have to irrigate 12-18 hours per day just to cover a minimum of crops. Every two-three hours this can take 5-15 minutes to change from one section to another, meaning an hour per day just to change irrigation lines. In addition we are not able to get our crops the water they need and if we have learned one thing over the past 4 years, it is that when we irrigate properly, crops produce significantly better. There are of course many other factors at hand, but if they are not getting the water they need, it can be difficult to get healthy plants. This has been a difficult bean season for us through a culmination of deer eating plants, Mexican bean beetle infestation, and the shear heat; but multiple successions of beans have not gotten enough water to thrive, enough to survive, but not thrive. So this winter we will spend energy creating and investing in a workable efficient system capable of watering much more cropland at one time.
This week’s share revisits summer squash, our last succession for the year, paired with green and sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and parsley. We love parsley; but it struggles through the very hot months. We are happy to see it finally growing back bushy and full as it goes wonderfully with the fruiting vegetables of this season. We are also including a small handful of garlic. It is fully cured and can be stored in a pantry or shaded location for many months. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian
Zaalouk (Spicy Eggplant Salad) The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 ½ lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
salt
3 large tomatoes (about 1 ½ lbs)
4 Tbls argan oil or mild extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbls wine vinegar
½ tsp harissa or a mixture paprika &ground chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Boil the eggplants with the garlic in plenty of salted water, in a pan covered with a lid, for about 30 minutes or until they are very soft. Drain and chop the eggplants and garlic in a colander, then mash them with a fork, pressing all the water out.
Put the tomatoes in the emptied pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with the mashed eggplants and the rest of the ingredients and add salt.
Variation: Add the juice of 1 lemon (instead of the vinegar) and 1 tsp ground caraway or coriander.
Golden Squash, Pepper, & Tomato Gratin from THE BEEKMAN
Roasted Eggplant, Green Pepper & Tomato Dip
Turkish eggplant and beef stew (musakka) recipe 
Sautéed Summer Squash with Parsley and Garlic
You Say Tomato, We Say Make These Recipes Immediately
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Weekly Share August 22nd – 28th

Arugula or Salad Mix
Pickling or Suyo Long Cucumbers
Asian Long Beans or Eggplant
Verona or Heirloom Tomatoes
Crimson Spineless Okra
Danvers Carrots
Jalafuego Jalapeno
Red Creole Onions
German White Garlic

Long Bean, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Okura Okazu (Okra Side dish)

Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans

CURRIED OKRA AND EGGPLANT

Taqueria-Style Pickled Carrots

CARROT-GINGER DRESSING

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Weekly Share August 15th – 21st

dancerEggplant
Okra
Tomato
Basil
Potatoes
Copra Onion
Purslane or Arugula
Ali Baba or Crimson Sweet Watermelon

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Weekly Share August 8th – 14th

Chile_AjiDulce_Aug2014Danvers Carrots
All Purpose Tomatoes
Cantaloupe or Asian Melon
Aji Dulce, Thai Khmer, & Serrano Chiles
Anaheim Peppers or Eggplant
German White Garlic
Chinese Cutting Celery
Thai Basil
Shiso

basilThis week’s share includes herbs and aromatics for making a myriad of dishes. Check out the recipes below for some ideas. The chiles will include Aji Dulce (look like a habanero, they are a seasoning chile with almost no heat at all), serrano (green, best used fresh, with a med-hot heat), and khmer thai (our hottest chile, can be green or red these chiles are small with pointed ends, they are great pickled, used in stir fry, dried, or eaten fresh). The chinese cutting celery has very thin stalks, it is stronger in flavor than traditional celery, and is often used for flavoring dishes. Please read about it here. Enjoy the share….Autumn and Brian
Cantaloupe Salad with Thai Basil and Chile
Yam Khai Dao (Fried egg salad) Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
Must find some cilantro and lettuce for this recipe but it is soooo delicious, a must try!
Thai basil chicken recipe (pad kra pao gai )
Szechuan Spicy Eggplant and Carrots
Tomato Onion and Green Pepper Salad with Shiso
Refreshing Chilled Carrot Ginger Soup
Vietnamese Salad Rolls (Gỏi cuốn)
When we make these we let everyone prepare their own, as it makes for a really fun meal activity. As the recipe states, you can substitute various herbs’ we particularly like thai basil, shiso, and mint together. We always add julienned slivers of scallions and sometimes substitute shredded pork or shrimp for tofu. For dipping sauces we use a traditional Nuoc Cham and peanut sauce (recipes below).
carrotsNuoc ChamHot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid
1/4cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
2 tsp rice or cider vinegar
1 Tbls sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 bird chile, minces
several shreds of carrot (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Serve in small condiment bowls. Store in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (after that, the garlic starts to taste tired).
GermanWhite2014Vietnamese Peanut Sauce –Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid
¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
2 scant Tbls tamarind pulp, dissolved in 2 Tbls warm water or substitute 2 Tbls tomato paste
2 tsp peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbls fermented soybean paste (tuong in Vietnamese; dao jiao in Thai)
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp sugar
1-2 bird chiles, minced
Generous squeeze of fresh lime juice
Place the peanuts in a food processor or large mortar and process or pound to a coarse powder; set aside. If using tamarind, press it through a sieve; reserve the liquid and discard the solids. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until it is starting to change color, about 15 seconds. Add the soybean paste and the tamarind or tomato paste and stir to blend. Stir in ½ cup water, then stir in most of the ground peanuts, reserving about 1 Tbls for the garnish. Stir in the sugar and chiles. Add up to ½ cup more water, until you have the desired texture: a thick liquid, pourable but not watery. Serve in small condiment bowls, warm or at room temperature, squeezing on the lime and sprinkling on the reserved peanuts just before serving. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat it in a small pan and simmer briefly before serving.
Shiso GranitaJapanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
15 green shiso leaves
¼ cup granulated sugar
Place the shiso leaves in a medium-sized bowl or 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Heat the sugar and 3 cups water to boiling in a medium saucepan, stirring the sugar to dissolve. Pour the boiling sugar water over the leaves and steep until cool. Set a strainer over a plastic container large enough to hold 3 cups and strain out the leaves. Cover and transfer the shiso-flavored sugar water to a freezer shelf. Let sit, undisturbed, in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove to the countertop, open the lid, and gently stir in the crystals that have formed on the perimeter. Repeat this operation every 30 minutes, breaking up any larger crystals as you go. The finished granita should be flaky. Serve alone in a glass bowl or goblet. This is also wonderful served alongside Fig Ice Cream and Plum Sorbet. Keeps frozen for several weeks.
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Weekly Share August 1st – 7th

Swiss Chard
Crimson Sweet Watermelon
Peppers: Poblano or Padron
Black Eyed Peas or Borlotti Beans
Eggplant: Rosa Bianca, Prosperosa, or Dancer
Onion: Borretana Cippolini or Candy Sweet
Tomatoes: Red Pear, San Marzano, & Celebrity

Finally after a month with practically no rain, we have gotten poured on quite a bit this past week. Things look fairly wet around the farm and many plants look more hydrated although with these warm, humid conditions it is a perfect climate for disease to crop up. Our earliest successions of tomatoes are dying along with squash, cucumbers, and early beans. As we wait for our latter successions of these crops to begin producing we will have a short window without them. Our okra and eggplant crops are thriving and ramping up to full production, although we are still a few weeks away.
This coming week marks the beginning of our fall plantings; which dominates our time over the first three weeks of August. We look for windows of cooler weather to seed beet, carrot, turnip, salad, cilantro, and broocoli raab crops. We have a tremendous amount of transplanting to fit into our Wednesday and Thursday project days. All of our lettuce head, chicory, fennel, scallions, and brassica family (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bunching greens, bok choy, etc.) crops get planted during these three weeks. So we keep our fingers crossed that the weather will be agreeable. Every week that we postpone planting means 2-3 weeks postponed in harvesting, because day lengths over the next two months begin to shorten considerably and this directly affects harvest dates. We are now in a small holding pattern for the soil to dry up enough to get our beds shaped and transplanted this week. Wednesday may turn out to be a 14 -15hour workday, going into the night hours. Each year we have expanded the amount of fall and winter crops that we grow, as we have found that our winter crops are very successful. This actually means a lot more workload in August and September. We are excited that this year we have not only our full time intern Ellen helping out, but we also have two other people working on Wednesdays and Thursdays to offset a bit of the work load.
In this weeks share you will receive either black-eyed peas or borlotto beans. These plantings are small trials and so the CSA gets small amounts, which are shelled easily and quickly. These beans should not need much preparation and will be delicious cooked with other veggies or in a rice or pasta dish. As we learn more about these crops and techniques for larger yields in small intensive plantings, we hope in coming years to get larger amounts to CSA members. For now though you get a smattering to accompany a dish. This is the beginning of the eggplant and peppers are slowly beginning to produce. This rain has helped both plantings considerably, as we literally could not get them enough water over the past 6 weeks to adequately hydrate them. Now we are seeing more flowering and healthier vegetation. Check out some of the recipes below and enjoy the share…..Brian and Autumn
Green Romesco (Use either Padron or Poblano peppers only in this recipe, delicious)
Couscous With Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
Borlotti Beans in Tomato Sauce with Creamy Polenta
BEANS WITH AUBERGINE AND PARMESAN CRUST
Incredible Sicilian aubergine stew (Caponata)
Tomato and Watermelon Salad
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Weekly Share July 25th – 31st

Sugar Baby Watermelon
Lettuce or Arugula
Cutting Celery
Flat Leaf Parsley
German White Garlic
Red Creole Onions
Romano Beans, Anaheim, or Padron Peppers
Mix of Slicer, Sauce, and Cherry Tomatoes

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