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Easiest Vegetable to Grow

 
pollinator
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Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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Meg Mitchell wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

Meg Mitchell wrote:Leaf veg are probably easiest to grow, since leaves grow before flowers and fruit. Maybe chard? I spent two seasons trying to grow chard and mostly failed, then angrily threw the remainder of the seeds near my garden gate, and now there's a healthy little chard population there. If we're also looking at nontraditional veg, hosta are also pretty easy-care. They're called "shade lettuce" in some places. I haven't tried eating them yet but we do have some in our garden, leftover from the previous residents, and they grow pretty good on their own with zero maintenance.

I have had NO LUCK whatsoever with radishes or really any other root veg so far and it's starting to upset me a bit. I've gotten the 12-day radishes and I'll plant 'em out once I've gotten that perfect soil mix. But I didn't have to do that for hostas or chard!



Potatoes. Throw them down on a patch of lawn and cover with hay. It's impossible to mess it up.



We did potatoes this year and it turned out pretty well! We planted ours in January and harvested a few weeks ago for new potatoes. Next year I'll leave them in longer and see how big they get at full maturity. I like the option to plant so early. They didn't come up until awhile later when the soil warmed, but it let me spread out the garden work a bit more throughout the year. Spring is already so busy without having to fuss with potatoes.



Potatoes like cold. They sprout faster when they've been cold for a week or so.
 
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Squash, zucchini, really easy. You can also use/eat the flowers, dipped in a pancake dough and fried on both sides. Got that recipe from some nice italians, they truly know about what to do with vegetables, and they use a huge variety of veggies.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Michigan, USA
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William Bronson wrote:I've never grown actual rattail radishes!
I grow tillage radish,  the bootleg diakon.
They bolt plenty, but the seedpods are like spicy pea pods, so it's not a bad thing.
I throw those seeds everywhere, they frequently outgrow established starts of other plants!



"tillage radish" - are those the things that I see being used as cover crops into the winter?  I guess I never thought of them being edible.  Any words of advice or a source of info about how to prepare them, etc?  Also, I have ever heard of eating radish seeds.
 
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Thomas Dean wrote:

"tillage radish" - are those the things that I see being used as cover crops into the winter?  I guess I never thought of them being edible.  Any words of advice or a source of info about how to prepare them, etc?  Also, I have ever heard of eating radish seeds.

Technically "all parts" of diakon radish are edible. I've never eaten the actual ripe seeds, but I've added chopped leaves to stir-fries. The seed pods are also great in stir fries, but the trick is to catch them when they're large enough to be worth picking, but before they get tough or woody. The radish itself is fairly mild usually (at least in my climate). I grate it into salads, roast it along with other veggies like carrots and potatoes, dice it into soups, and it can be pickled. I try to add a little if I'm making sauerkraut, as it adds a little moisture, but my friend adds an apple instead, so it depends who's in charge that day!
 
Thomas Dean
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Jay Angler wrote:Thomas Dean wrote:

"tillage radish" - are those the things that I see being used as cover crops into the winter?  I guess I never thought of them being edible.  Any words of advice or a source of info about how to prepare them, etc?  Also, I have ever heard of eating radish seeds.

Technically "all parts" of diakon radish are edible. I've never eaten the actual ripe seeds, but I've added chopped leaves to stir-fries. The seed pods are also great in stir fries, but the trick is to catch them when they're large enough to be worth picking, but before they get tough or woody. The radish itself is fairly mild usually (at least in my climate). I grate it into salads, roast it along with other veggies like carrots and potatoes, dice it into soups, and it can be pickled. I try to add a little if I'm making sauerkraut, as it adds a little moisture, but my friend adds an apple instead, so it depends who's in charge that day!



Might be something new to try.  I looked them up since posting, turns out we grew a variety of diakon last year in the garden - "watermelon radish."  They did not do well, but the seed was old (family member who has not gardened in several years gifted us all her seeds).  Talked to my wife about it.  She didn't think it was a crazy idea, but she was skeptical of my time and internet data use to look stuff up (I have a limited amount of both at this stage in life)

Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Bok choy

Easy to germinate
Cool season veggie
Fast growing
Eat young seedlings while thinning
When it bolts, young flower stalks are edible too
Attracts bees
Chicken loves it too
Plenty of seeds
Good for 2nd crop in fall
 
master pollinator
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I have found what is easy to grow for one person is difficult for anothe, and what is easy to grow in one geographical area is difficult in another.  There are many excellent posts here, but the real question, for me, is, "What do you want to grow?"
 
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Location: Zone 8b 15°F to 20°F
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Greens!  Collard, turnip, or mustard grow year round in East Texas.
 
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John F Dean wrote:I have found what is easy to grow for one person is difficult for anothe, and what is easy to grow in one geographical area is difficult in another.  There are many excellent posts here, but the real question, for me, is, "What do you want to grow?"



I agree, only grow what you actually want to eat!

I think another two things which is overseen a lot:

* Grow what's native to your region - I found native plants to grow much more easy than non-native plants.
* Looks whats growing already and eat that (aka foraging :) ) - maybe a bit cheating but in our garden suddenly tons of Oenothera[1] started popping up so we added these to our diet.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenothera
 
master pollinator
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For me, one of the easiest has to be hard neck garlic. Just plant it in October, watch it come up in the spring, eat the yummy scapes in June, harvest the heads in July. Curing them is simple, and my harvest typically lasts approximately a year (until the next harvest). I never have trouble with it, and it doesn't require much. Some years I've given it a little bonemeal once or twice. I always mulch it well with fall leaves. But it feels like a plant & harvest crop, with not much work in between. Also, I love that we grow enough that we pretty much only eat our own garlic--organic, lovely garlic. Not shipped from China.

I find peas easy here, as long as I start them early (for our area, where normal planting weekend is May 25 for most things). Peas I start end of April or early May. They sprout easily and need little care, although things are better if I give them some net to grab onto and stay upright. I always grow three kinds: regular, sugar snap, and snow. And they taste like childhood to me. Peas are one of those vegetables that taste worlds different from what you can buy in a grocery store.

Potatoes are another easy grow, but I couldn't find any seed potato when I went to buy it this Covid year, so none for us this summer :( They do their thing, you scoop a little dirt high up on their necks, do it again later, and maybe pick off those yucky potato beetle grubs :P And then you get to have that amazing new potato taste--another thing that's really hit or miss in the store.

Beans also give me no trouble whatsoever. They grow easily, and you just keep them picked. I find it easiest if I grow yellow or purple beans... easy to see among the foliage.

My Hopi Red Dye Amaranth is a garden constant here. It wasn't easy to get going (I think I failed the first two years), but once it "took", the self-seeding keeps it in my garden always. It's super easy--just pull out the ones you don't want. And let each plant have a little space to fill out. You won't struggle to ID it as a tiny volunteering plant, because it's a beautiful red colour at every stage. And most importantly, it makes lots of leaves right through summer which I can eat as spinach! Truly, it tastes so similar when cooked. And it doesn't cook down to such a tiny volume like spinach. And it doesn't bolt like regular spring spinach. And it makes your garden glow so beautifully in the late afternoon light. AND you can cook and eat the seeds in your porridge or other places you might put some variety of grains. I love this plant!

 
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I would go for parsley and potatoes and perhaps some dandelions -the latter need to stay hydrated
 
pollinator
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Heidi Schmidt wrote:
My Hopi Red Dye Amaranth is a garden constant here. It wasn't easy to get going (I think I failed the first two years), but once it "took", the self-seeding keeps it in my garden always. It's super easy--just pull out the ones you don't want. And let each plant have a little space to fill out. You won't struggle to ID it as a tiny volunteering plant, because it's a beautiful red colour at every stage. And most importantly, it makes lots of leaves right through summer which I can eat as spinach! Truly, it tastes so similar when cooked. And it doesn't cook down to such a tiny volume like spinach. And it doesn't bolt like regular spring spinach. And it makes your garden glow so beautifully in the late afternoon light. AND you can cook and eat the seeds in your porridge or other places you might put some variety of grains. I love this plant!


I have to admit that amaranth always reminded me of very old-fashioned gardens - not traditional farmer gardens but those with plants that are a bit awkward and useless (no pollen, no food etc.).

But now I have read a bit about amaranth and it seems to be quite the superfood! I will look into this for next season.
Sometimes a plant or flower I once liked has fallen into disgrace because I have learned more about them (invasive neophyt, no nectar/pollen because it is a sterile variety etc.), and in some cases it goes the other way round!
 
gardener
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Ground cherries have been easy for me this year, as have onions. Yard-long beans were slow to start, but now I can barely keep up with them, and they readily keep producing despite the pressure of stink bugs and sharpshooter bugs.

Amy Wilkie wrote:Greens!  Collard, turnip, or mustard grow year round in East Texas.


Agree, though the kale & chard have been the superstar this year in my CenTex gardens. The rest of my greens were devastated by the harlequin bugs that showed up this spring. Fortunately the turnip greens and mustards from last winter survived long enough to bolt, and now I have lots of seedlings volunteering, so will hopefully not have to plant any this fall (as long as the grasshoppers don't kill them before then).

 
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I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?
 
Kc Simmons
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Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?



Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer. :(
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.
 
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Growing up we had great success with cukes, tomatoes peppers and zucchini. Great soil, great water, and lots of sun. I lived in a  bunch of rentals between then and now, so buckets were my only option. Now we own 7 shady acres in the Pine Barrens. We would really like to grow any of the veggies mentioned. I love radishes and was excited how fast they grow. I will try again. I think my focus needs to be on shade tolerant and then try to protect them from whatever "took" all our tomato plants. We have 7" deer fencing up. Moles and or voles may be our issue as well. We are not giving up! Hoping to have some luck this fall.
 
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I have found it easiest to grow established transplants from a nursery! Greens, peppers, brassicas, and tomatoes do well in our zone (6B)
Great question!
In terms of planting from seed, greens and beans are very easy. If you don't have much space, microgreens are very easy to grow.
Thanks!
 
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Steve Thorn wrote:I wish I liked to eat radishes, as easy are they are to grow!



Good news: the radish greens make a pretty good pesto. And I chop them and use them (raw) on pizzas.
 
Rita Bliden
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All the tomato green bean and pepper plants that were eaten or disappeared were purchased already started.  Same for the kale, cauliflower broccoli nasturtium parsley red vein sorrel basil dill and rosemary. I was happy to support the local csa and organic farms that were selling the starts.  The kale never went in the ground. Half was in hanging baskets and half in large pot on my front porch which gets morning sun. Something ate all the kale.  Parsley is doing well in hanging basket. So are nasturtiums,  but heat is starting to affect them. The herbs are doing ok. Anything that went in the ground got eaten. I think the radishes bolted even though I started them in Match in a cold frame.
And the deer fence is 7' not 7". I didn't have my glasses on.
I will plant for fall and see if I can do kale in cooler weather.
 
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When I first started a tiny vegetable garden, I just pulled out some dead plants and sowed directly in the soil, with a handful of composted horse manure that I got. I didn't know ANYTHING, and I was pretty pregnant then, so the attention it received got less and less as my ability to squat deteriorated ;-) Things that did well that year were peas, carrots, lettuce, arugula, cucumbers (in pots, even!) and strawberries. These are the things that still do well (I never sow arugula anymore, it's all over the place), even if I don't do much to help them.

I'm in Belgium btw, which is a moderate climate.
 
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Garlic was the 1st crop I tried - easy-peasiest in my mind. Halloween (vampires) is my reminder to plant. Poke a finger in the ground to 2nd knuckle, put 1 clove pointy tip up, cover hole with soil, delightedly watch the shoots come up in the spring, cut scapes when they have grown a complete circle, & finally, pull bulb from ground after 3 bottom leaves have died back.
NB - Since I'm lazy, I throw a layer of woodchip mulch over my planted garlic in the fall so I don't have to weed or water the rest of the year.
- 5 years ago I gave a fistful of garlic bulbs to each member of my graduating class (they are all suburbanites) told them to plant the cloves wherever their hearts desired & not to do any more work than instructed above. In a recent Zoom, *each* classmate said they still grow their own garlic and 2 have started to grow some of their own food!
 
Al Marlin
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NB2 Where I am, deer are predatory to almost everything grown in a garden. For example deer will eat my *rhubarb leaves* right off, frequently pulling the roots right out of the ground to get their last bite but these same deer do not touch my garlic.
 
Jay Angler
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Al Marlin wrote:NB2 Where I am, deer are predatory to almost everything grown in a garden. For example deer will eat my *rhubarb leaves* right off, frequently pulling the roots right out of the ground to get their last bite but these same deer do not touch my garlic.

Garlic's an acquired taste - give them time and either the locals will acquire a taste for garlic, or the deer from my area will migrate to your garlic paradise. (Seriously, I planted garlic in my friend's back yard last fall and early this spring the deer "harvested" them for her. I hadn't worried about protection as I didn't figure it would be a problem - surprise!)

That said, *please* keep you deer from talking to my deer, as so far they've left my rhubarb alone.
 
gardener
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Kc Simmons wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?



Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer.
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.



Sometimes orach does struggle depending on the soil. But I've found it responds well to saving seeds from the ones that at least do okay. Last year I started some in a new garden and the best capped out at about 2 feet before going to seed. I saved seeds from the best ones and sowed them this year in the same garden. This time they're around 6 feet tall! The soil is improving and has a lot more soil life but is still not great. You could try saving seeds to see if that would help get more harvests in the future. I've also noticed that sometimes it can be slow to get going and then take off. I had some new orach seeds (green--my other ones are red) that didn't look like they were going to do anything but in the last few weeks they took off and caught up to the ones I grew from the seeds I saved. The green ones were in a separate new garden.
 
Daron Williams
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I've been having luck exploring native vegetables. One type that I'm just loving are my 2 checkermallows. I'm currently growing Dwarf checkermallow (Sidalcea Malviflora ssp. virgata) and Henderson's checkermallow (Sidalcea Hendersonii). Both are native to western WA and are very easy to grow--at least in this area.

You can eat the leaves from both of them in salads or as cooked greens and they have a really nice mild flavor. They're also supposed to be very nutritious. I love how easy they are to grow and how beautiful they are. Plus after their first year (you can get small harvests during the first year) each plant produces a ton of greens through spring, summer and fall. Attached are some pictures of them and some leaves I harvested to use on a sandwich.

The seeds from checkermallows are also very easy to collect. Right now I've just been spreading them about to see if I get a bunch of volunteers. But I'm thinking about collecting some and trying to sow them this fall to see if I can grow my own starts. I'm not sure how easy they will be to grow from seed or how readily they will self-seed. Though I've read from some sources that they tend to spread. So hopefully they will be fairly easy to propagate.

There are other native vegetables that I'm exploring including 2 onions a violet and deltoid balsamroot. The onions are doing great but the violets and balsamroots are being slow to get established but I'm hoping they do well next year once they're fully established. And I'm already growing Pacific waterleaf and miners lettuce--both provide great spring harvests and miners lettuce is also a good winter green.

Not all native vegetables are easy to grow but I'm having fun exploring them because I'm finding some that are supper easy and make great vegetable crops. Checkermallows, the onions, miners lettuce and waterleaf are all great examples. And I'm hoping some of the others are just being slow to get established. So if your looking for easy vegetables don't forget about the native vegetables that grow in your area. A great way to learn about them is to look up foraging groups in your area. Often foragers will know all about the native veggies growing in your area. There is a new site called FindaForager.com that is a database setup to help people find foragers in their area.

checkermallow.jpg
A row of Henderson checkermallows in bloom during their first year.
A row of Henderson checkermallows in bloom during their first year.
checkermallow-flowering.jpg
A group of dwarf checkermallows in bloom also during their first year.
A group of dwarf checkermallows in bloom also during their first year.
checkermallow-harvest.jpg
The leaves can get fairly large but are still good raw. You can harvest smaller young leaves too. These are from a well established checkermallow during it's second year.
The leaves can get fairly large but are still good raw. You can harvest smaller young leaves too. These are from a well established checkermallow during it's second year.
 
Kc Simmons
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Daron Williams wrote:

Kc Simmons wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?



Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer.
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.



Sometimes orach does struggle depending on the soil. But I've found it responds well to saving seeds from the ones that at least do okay. Last year I started some in a new garden and the best capped out at about 2 feet before going to seed. I saved seeds from the best ones and sowed them this year in the same garden. This time they're around 6 feet tall! The soil is improving and has a lot more soil life but is still not great. You could try saving seeds to see if that would help get more harvests in the future. I've also noticed that sometimes it can be slow to get going and then take off. I had some new orach seeds (green--my other ones are red) that didn't look like they were going to do anything but in the last few weeks they took off and caught up to the ones I grew from the seeds I saved. The green ones were in a separate new garden.



Thank you for sharing! I am not sure if mine have set seed yet (they're a little bit covered in runner beans and vine peaches at the moment), but I will check them out and see.
Does orach have any cold tolerance? If so, I may see how a fall crop does. That's usually the best time in my climate for other greens, like kale, spinach, chard, etc.
 
Barbara Kochan
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Daron Williams wrote:

Kc Simmons wrote:

Barbara Kochan wrote:I thought Orach is supposed to be easy to grow but I'm having trouble starting it. Any suggestions?



Mine started out strong this spring, but it only maxed out at about a foot tall before bolting. I thought it was supposed to be much bigger and longer lasting in the summer.
The few leaves I was able to harvest were good enough for me to try again for the fall garden, but I didn't get the results I hear about others getting.



Sometimes orach does struggle depending on the soil. But I've found it responds well to saving seeds from the ones that at least do okay. Last year I started some in a new garden and the best capped out at about 2 feet before going to seed. I saved seeds from the best ones and sowed them this year in the same garden. This time they're around 6 feet tall! The soil is improving and has a lot more soil life but is still not great. You could try saving seeds to see if that would help get more harvests in the future. I've also noticed that sometimes it can be slow to get going and then take off. I had some new orach seeds (green--my other ones are red) that didn't look like they were going to do anything but in the last few weeks they took off and caught up to the ones I grew from the seeds I saved. The green ones were in a separate new garden.



Daron, I too am in the PacNW; what time of year did you sow your seeds? I had some luck last year until my neighbor's wandering steers tromped on them. This year they just didn't come up at all. My soil is quite good here, so I'm pretty sure that's not the issue. I also had put slug protection around them, cause those buggers mow down seedlings in a heartbeat.
 
Jay Angler
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Barbara Kochan wrote:

Daron, I too am in the PacNW; what time of year did you sow your seeds? I had some luck last year until my neighbor's wandering steers tromped on them. This year they just didn't come up at all.

I'm further north than either of you, but there have been lots of complaints that plants that usually do well are not and vice versa - the weather's been weird, so try not to despair if it's just not a good year for a particular plant because it may do fine next year if the pattern shifts again.
 
Daron Williams
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Yeah, this year has been a bit weird and some of my veggies are struggling but the warmer weather now is helping. The first year I waited to sow orach until the end of April (the 22nd to be exact) but I've noticed volunteers coming up much earlier. I think here in zone 8 you could get away with sowing it in early April or even late March. And some sources say you can sow it as soon as the soil is workable. It's supposed to be able to handle some frost.

I think this year I got them sowed in mid-April... been such a crazy spring for obvious reasons that I don't remember exactly when I sowed them.

I'm going to be saving a bunch of seeds this year and also let it self-seed in some spots. I might try sowing it at several different times next year to see what happens. It would be nice to be able to get it going in February along side some other early veggies.
 
Daron Williams
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Talking about orach... I'm exploring some really easy to grow veggies which are a bunch of self-seeding ones! I had some new rough planting beds that I want to plant some berries in for my family to enjoy (the bed is right across from our sandbox/play area). But it wasn't ready this year for that so I just tossed down a bunch of veggie seeds that should self-seed. These include orach, arugula, chard, kale, multiple types of lettuce, and nasturtiums. I'm really hoping they all drop a ton of seeds that will then come up around the berries I'm going to plant this fall. I haven't done anything to help these veggies--not even mulching and almost no watering except for a little bit in April during a strange dry stretch right after I broadcast all the seeds. Kinda fun and I really hope this results in an easy no work veggie patch around some berries
self-seeding-veggies.jpg
Self-seeding veggie patch
Self-seeding veggie patch
 
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Al Marlin wrote:Garlic was the 1st crop I tried - easy-peasiest in my mind. Halloween (vampires) is my reminder to plant.



Great tip to help remember when to plant garlic, I always forget it.
 
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