DoubleDogFarm
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TheWaterbug's Corn Season 1

:D
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

TZ -OH6
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I'm growing Painted Mountain flour corn for the first time, but we had some heavy winds the other day so you really don't want to see a sad picture.

Carol Deppe has bred a line out of Magic Mountain she calls Magic Manna, that is adapted to the Pacific Northwest,... for short season and low nutrient soil. It produces ears of four different colors with flavors for different usages from parching, to cake flour (including corn meals). But I don't think any of the colors is blue. I'm hoping that she offers seed again through her newsletter.

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applestar
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I haven't been taking pictures of my sad garden this year.... :(

Oh, I have stuff growing... lots of different stuff... just not as much of each as I expected to... among weeds and struggling with the drought :roll: Not sure if I want to post them even if I took pics :oops: :lol:

I could show you the TWO surviving corn plants in last year's New Tomato Bed (against the SW side of the house) that the chipmunks didn't find. They are growing beautifully, but I've no idea how I'm going to get them pollinated. I mean I usually only plant small blocks but TWO? :roll: Although if successfull, I'll be able to at least harvest Stowell's Evergreen seed corn -- that's IF the chipmunks don't steal them first....

My 4x4 Veg(A) raised box has about 6 Double Red Sweet corn growing -- again, the others didn't grow so probably ended up chipmunk store. My second planting in 4x4 Veg(C) has several more coming up but among weeds that I haven't been able to get at and they are intentionally offset by 2 weeks. So no help in pollination there either.

My 8x12 SFH with another variety Buhl (I think) has had spotty germination (or chipmunk/bird) predation as well. Out of four 8' rows, only one row is coming up full... maybe too full. One row has not come up at all so maybe, just maybe, I planted double in that one row -- I'm pretty sure I did not, but I've no idea at this point. nutz:

Anyway, the empty row is full of vetch -- do you remember me posting that my daughter helped me "scatter" those seeds? :lol: I'll hoe them down and plant something else -- maybe there's enough time for an 80 day watermelon... or a Halloween pumpkin.... Maybe I'll plant some of the overwintered hot peppers that haven't made it into the ground yet there.

TZ -OH6
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Pollinating two plants should be easy. Tassels start to shed pollen a couple of days before the silks emerge and then the best success is to get pollen on the silks over the next three days. Pollen is shed mostly mid morning, but not during rainy weather, so just shake the plant so that pollen falls where you want it or take off part of the tassel for closser work. IIRC I got hot and bothered about corn pollination one day and posted a thread with bunch of links.

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lorax
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I grow ten to twelve stalks of Harina Negra corn at least one cycle each year. It's a longer cycle than the sweet corns, and to really get fullness in the kernels you have to leave it on the stalks for what seems like forever. The key to knowing when to harvest is when the leaves above the ears have started to dry - then they'll be full enough to be worthwhile drying the cobs.

I follow the highland wisdom of planting the seeds overtop of a small fish (we use sardines, but the true traditional method calls for minnows), and then I fertilize along with the watering using algae suspension.

For watering, I water daily with enough to soak the soil to the depth of my first knuckle. Unless it rains - then I let Pachamama do the work.

I don't mulch flour corn, but if as they grow the roots become exposed I'll re-hill them. Other than that, I just let it grow and try to keep the big bumblebees from stealing all my pollen. :()

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soil
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we grow rainbow inca sweet corn. which is a sweet eating corn, as well as a dry flour corn all in one. taste great and non gmo/hybrid. i don't really have a corn patch, there just all over the food forest. all 500 of them.

the rainbow inca sweet corn makes for some CRAZY GOOD homemade tortillas, has to be the best ive ever had.

fed nothing really, all the goodies are in the soil. the only thing i water with other than water is ACT.
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Soil,
https://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=PS21567
Hooker's corn is also a sweet corn / flour corn. It makes some pretty amazing cornbread.

Lorax,
Funny you mentioned algae suspensions. I've been using my duck's pond water. I started watering with it last summer and now again this spring. When the water stops flowing, the pond gets really green. I just throw in a submersible pump and spray everything that doesn't move.

I've asked this before, but does anyone know the nutritional value of duck pond water?
Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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soil
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i think its pond dependent and duck dependent. lets just say its real rich and biologically active.
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applestar
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soil wrote:we grow rainbow inca sweet corn. which is a sweet eating corn, as well as a dry flour corn all in one. taste great and non gmo/hybrid. i don't really have a corn patch, there just all over the food forest. all 500 of them.

the rainbow inca sweet corn makes for some CRAZY GOOD homemade tortillas, has to be the best ive ever had.

fed nothing really, all the goodies are in the soil. the only thing i water with other than water is ACT.
I'd LOVE to see some photos of your food forest! What are the steps to planting this way. I'm having a hard time picturing the process without getting stuck in the conventional field growing method.

I'm putting Rainbow Inca Sweet on my list. 8)

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soil
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sorry i don't have a camera, but everything grows with everything. there is no beds, no crop patches. no rows. companion planting on steroids. hundreds of species of plants from the tiny eatable weeds to the standard size cherry trees.

most of my corn this year is growing among the white clover and with the berries(blackberry,loganberry,raspberry,boysenberry,bababerry, etc... but there are plants all over the place from corn seedballs i tossed out.

the rainbow inca corn is BEAUTIFUL and tasty.

im liking the look of that hookers corn.
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DoubleDogFarm
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from corn seed balls i tossed out
Ok, Now I'm curious. How many seed per ball? How is pollination with such few plants?

Eric

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soil
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Ok, Now I'm curious. How many seed per ball? How is pollination with such few plants?
one seed per ball, about 1 inch diameter. pollination is fine as long as you sow thick enough. i tossed out a lot, like 100+.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Corn, *Blue Cornmeal*

DoubleDogFarm wrote:How about some pictures of your corn patch.
Here's my corn patch as of three days ago:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn062411.jpg[/img]
It might be my imagination, but it seems like it's 6"-8" taller today. The leftmost row is Delectable SE, sown from seed on May 7 into ~4" divots filled with Miracle Gro garden soil. We sowed 3-4 seeds per divot, 12" apart, and then I thinned all but the strongest plant when they were about 12" tall.

I didn't get around to fertilizing until the day of the picture, and I just used some liquid 10-10-10 from Home Depot, diluted 1 T/gal into a watering can. I have a sprayer canister thingy, but I'm not sure how to mix it.

Maturity is supposed to be 84 days, which puts it at July 30, and I'm supposed to get silks 3 weeks prior to that, or around July 9th.

How accurate are these maturity dates, typically? I'm more accustomed to seed packs having a range of at least 2 weeks.

The other two rows are from Home Depot, and I don't think I saved the packet. I might stop by and snap a photo of a packet later this week, but IIRC the maturity was like 90-100 days, so maybe they'll all mature at once and I'll be very popular amongst my neighbors and colleagues!

I hope to have a big pumpkin patch party near Hallowe'en, so if this corn crop looks like it's going to be good I might plant another patch towards the end of July and try to time it to coincide with the party.

The 2nd and 3rd rows were sown 4" apart into a ~4" furrow filled with the same MG soil, and I thinned that to the strongest every 12" at roughly the same time as the first row.

I'm watering the whole patch with an automatic drip system, which is nice because I can spend all my time weeding :)
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Corn, *Blue Cornmeal*

TheWaterbug wrote:Here's my corn patch as of [June 24, 2011]:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn062411.jpg[/img]
and here it is on June 28:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn062811.jpg[/img]
The perspective isn't exactly the same, but if you look at the brick lines on the retaining wall, it looks like they're about a brick to a brick-and-half taller.
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Nice! Thewaterbug,

That's quite a jump in 4 days. Are you getting extra heat of the concrete wall?

Have you grown corn before? Are you concerned with the cross pollination?

Eric

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TheWaterbug
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:That's quite a jump in 4 days. Are you getting extra heat of the concrete wall?

Have you grown corn before? Are you concerned with the cross pollination?
I don't think I'm getting much heat from anything these days. It's just be lolling around in the high 60s and low 70s. Later this week it's supposed to break 80, so I'm hoping for a growth spurt. I think the wall might help once there's actually some heat to work with.

I've never grown corn before. I don't know whether I should worry about cross-pollination or not. They're both sweet corn, and after lunch I should know whether they're both SE varieties or not. I also planted them 2 weeks apart, but due to their varying maturity dates they might silk at the same time.

According to [url=https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs//_h/h-223.pdf]this article[/url], super-sweet varieties need to be isolated from SE varieties, but "Isolating sugar enhanced from standard sweet corn varieties is not necessary for pollination."

It doesn't say anything about isolating one SE variety from a different SE variety. Hmmm.
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DoubleDogFarm
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I'm also wonder, not only cross pollination, but lack of pollination. If the one row comes to maturity before the other you maybe in trouble. You may have to hand pollinate. Blocks of corn are better than long rows.

Wish you luck
Eric

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TheWaterbug
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:I'm also wonder, not only cross pollination, but lack of pollination. If the one row comes to maturity before the other you maybe in trouble. You may have to hand pollinate. Blocks of corn are better than long rows.
Yeah, I read about planting in blocks _after_ the corn had gone in. I do a lot of that :)

I don't mind hand-pollinating at all. I do it for my pumpkins, just to be sure. I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy :D
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TheWaterbug
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So it looks like the 2nd and 3rd rows were [url=https://www.stoverseed.com/P_vegetables_9.html]Bi-Licious[/url], which is a 75-80 day variety. Assuming the first stuff matures in 84 and this matures in 77, they're going to mature a week apart. I'm going to have a lot of corn between July 30 and August 6th!

I am thinking of a second crop, ideally one to mature for the Hallowe'en party on October 29th. Counting back 84 days puts me at August 6th, which is one week after the first set of SE corn is supposed to mature. So I hope I get to taste it and see if it's worth planting again :)
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I've been pollinating my corn because I'm trying to segregate different colors and have them separted by grouped hills. The plants are silking before releasing pollen and doing it very unevenly so I have one mature tassle for several silking hills. I accidentally found that if you take the top of the plant off and put it in water/flower vase you can shake out as much as 1/8 tsp of pollen first thing in the morning and more each hour after that for a while. That works for a couple of days...I've been taking a shotglass of pollen out to the plants and using a paintbrush tapping little clouds of pollen over top of the silks. I can't do that with all of the different colors so I take a paper plate out and tap pollen onto that and go around to the silks.

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TheWaterbug
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TZ -OH6 wrote:I've been pollinating my corn because I'm trying to segregate different colors and have them separted by grouped hills.
You'll definitely have to post some pictures!
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applestar
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Great tip, TZ! :D
My Buhl corn are 2-3' tall now. Evergreen are 4'.
Having short early tasseling issues with the Double Red Sweet.
:?

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TheWaterbug
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TheWaterbug wrote:So it looks like the 2nd and 3rd rows were [url=https://www.stoverseed.com/P_vegetables_9.html]Bi-Licious[/url], which is a 75-80 day variety.
This is an SE variety, too, according to several sources. Although Stover doesn't mention it as such on their seed packet or on their website, which is weird.

Anyway, the Bi-Licious is tasseling!
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/BiLiciousTasseling.jpg[/img]
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/BiLiciousTasselingCloseup.jpg[/img]

So exciting!

The Delectable isn't tasseling yet.
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Corn, *Blue Cornmeal*

TheWaterbug wrote:Here's my corn patch as of [June 24, 2011]:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn062411.jpg[/img]
and here it is on July 2nd:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn070211.jpg[/img]
On July 4th it was clearly taller than him. Now I'm out of town until the evening of the 9th, so I won't see it again until the 10th. I'm sure it'll be taller than me by then. Amazing what some heat and water will do!

I just hope the corn tastes good. If I get 2 ears per stalk I'll have something like 160 ears to eat or give away.

How long do SE varieties stay good on the stalk?
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TheWaterbug
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I'm hoping to get in a second crop, so I bought two packets of Bodacious.

Public service message: if you google "delectable bilicious bodacious" not all the results are about sweet corn:)
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Public service message: if you google "delectable bilicious bodacious" not all the results are about sweet corn:)
YIKES! :?

Nice to see your corn is doing well. Keep the pictures and information coming.

Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Corn, *Blue Cornmeal*

TheWaterbug wrote:and here it is on July 2nd:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn070211.jpg[/img]
8 days later, and it's way taller than he is:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn071011a.jpg[/img]

In fact, some of it's taller than me! (I'm 6' 1'')
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn071011b.jpg[/img]

and we have tassels:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Tassels071011.jpg[/img]

and silk:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Silk071011.jpg[/img]

I also have aphids on a few of the tassels, so I just picked up a canister of ladybugs. I'll put them on as soon as it cools down a bit.
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I planted blue native corn this year, 8 stalks of "Six Nations Blue, long eared variant". They were all doing well until about a week ago when something visited the garden and tore up the mulch. They didn't bother any plants except for the corn. Whatever it was, broke off about half the corn. It looks like they were just running through that area and ran over it. Some are still growing, even bent right over and have tassles. I don't quite know what to do with them. I stood a couple back up and braced them with bricks. The others appear to be ok.

Question: Do you pull off all the suckers? I have always done so, just wondering if it's necessary and what happens if I just leave it? What do farmers with huge fields of corn do about suckers?

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TheWaterbug
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In a patch of ~75 stalks I have a few whose tassels are almost completely covered with aphids. Should I cut them? Neem them? Blast them with the hose? Leave them alone?

Will aphids spread from stalk to stalk?
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Runningtrails, Where did you get seed for the Six Nations Blue?
Here is a bit about its history--
https://www.archive.org/details/iroquoisusesofma00parkrich

Do not remove the tillers. They don't cause any harm and may help bulk up your kernels from the added photosynthesis.

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Re: Corn, *Blue Cornmeal*

TheWaterbug wrote:In fact, some of it's taller than me! (I'm 6' 1'') [this was July 10]
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn071011b.jpg[/img]
On July 14th it was way taller than me:
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/Corn07141_web.jpg[/img]
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TheWaterbug
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TZ -OH6 wrote:Do not remove the tillers. They don't cause any harm and may help bulk up your kernels from the added photosynthesis.
Interestingly, I have ears on some of my tillers!
[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/SilkAndEars071311_web.jpg[/img]

Actually, do I have too many ears? That stalk above has 4 ears--one on the tiller and 3 on the main stalk. I have many other stalks with 3 ears each.

I suppose the good news is these plants felt healthy enough to spawn so many ears. But will this mean smaller ears than if I had only 2/stalk?

They're spaced a foot apart in their rows, and the rows are 3 feet apart, so they have plenty of space. I also give them lots of water, and I fertilized about 10 days ago.

Last week I drove through Central California, and I saw large, mature fields of corn that were planted _very_ densely. It seemed like they were 6-8" apart in rows, and the rows looked about a 12-18" apart, so 3x-6x denser than my patch. I was zipping by at 80 mph, though, so I couldn't see how many ears they had. But they were dark green and lush, so they certainly looked healthy.
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So it looks like the corn has ~1-3 weeks left before it should be harvestable.

Should I fertilize again? Or just let it ride?

I last fertilized on July 4th, and lots of what I read says to fertilize corn every 2 weeks.
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I may be wrong, but I figure that the plant needs the fertilizer for the growth spurt just before it sets cobs, and if the plants are big an healthy it won't need extra to develop the kernels-cobs. Because they take top priority, plants are good at tranlocating nutrients from vegetative parts to flowers and seeds. Water and sun is more important to bulk up kernels.

IMO, If you are not selling to the fickle public there is no reason not to have a bunch of mutant cobs on a single plant. They all taste the same.

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Question: Do you pull off all the suckers?
Suckers = tillers, whatever you call them. Do not pull them. Let them grow as they will. You will find your corn patch will do better if they are left on. Tillers are leaves to make food for the plant. Why would you want to pull the leaves off the plant?

I fertilize my corn plot just before planting, and side dress again when the corn is about to tassel. I use a product called Urea that the local farm store gets in bulk for the farmers. It is 46% nitrogen. I don't put it on very heavy.
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Okey doke. It looks like I'm going to let them do their thing. I peeled back a husk one of my cobs today, just to see how they're doing, and it looks like I have pretty good "fill" on the top 3rd, at least (that's how far I peeled back), so pollination appears to have been mostly successful.

I have to resist the urge to check on it every single day :D
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stella1751
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Here's two of my corn "patches," the right one planted on June 1, the left one planted on June 10.

[img]https://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy292/mitbah/Corn_3.jpg[/img]

These are Yukon Chief, a 3' tall heirloom variety developed by the University of Alaska in 1959. I was dissatisfied with the germination, but they are producing like mad. All of them have from two to four suckers, which are also beginning to produce, so I may get as many as ten cobs per plant :shock:

Question: I was looking them over carefully yesterday when I spotted an ugly black patch at the base of one leaf. Thinking it was some kind of a worm, I tried to extract it with a twig. It turned out to a mass of about a half dozen earwigs. Will they harm my corn?
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[img]https://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/jaroot13/Farming%20Photos/89ed8043.jpg[/img]

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TheWaterbug wrote:Last week I drove through Central California, and I saw large, mature fields of corn that were planted _very_ densely. It seemed like they were 6-8" apart in rows, and the rows looked about a 12-18" apart, so 3x-6x denser than my patch. I was zipping by at 80 mph, though, so I couldn't see how many ears they had. But they were dark green and lush, so they certainly looked healthy.
When I was studying corn planting online early this spring, I learned that spacing is dependent upon the plant's mature size. The author said to go by the seed packet's recommended spacing. My packet for my short (3') corn said 8" to 12", so I went with 8" on mine. Good thing I did, too, because germination was really lousy :x
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jal_ut
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rootsy, now that's a corn patch!
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