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Bee Friendly Garden Guide

Use this Bee Friendly Garden Guide to create the a home for our little friends in your garden!

Use this Bee Friendly Garden Guide to create the a home for our little friends in your garden!

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

Do your part to save the Bees.

Do your part to save the Bees.


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Potato DIY Tower

Use this guide to build your own potato DIY tower. With this setup you can grow and harvest a mass of potatoes. Have fun building guys and gals!

Potato DIY Tower Infographic

Potato DIY Tower Infographic

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Veggie Container Garden Guide

Use this handy guide for working out the required container size for you vegetable garden. Container gardening is great for renters, those with limited space and for controlling what soil that you use.

Veggie Container Garden Guide

Veggie Container Garden Guide

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Plant Care Guide

Use this guide below for basic plant care. If you are just starting out, simply follow these handy tips. Get yourself on the path of having healthy and bountiful plants. Plants for eating and plants that are beauty to the eye. Learn how to read your plant. It will tell you what's wrong and what it needs. Simply observe and act! Cheers!

Plant Care Guide

Plant Care Guide

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Garden Watering Schedule

Use this basic guide for knowing how to water your plants. However it's important to note, this is just a guide. Actually the best thing to do, is to learn how to read your plants. The humidity, amount sun and soil will all effect how much water the plants needs. See this other guide I made on taking care of plants.

Garden Watering Schedule

Garden Watering Schedule

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Garden Timetable

Are you in North America? Then use this handy garden timetable for knowing when to and what do each month/season. Garden away folks!

Garden Timetable Infographic

Garden Timetable Infographic

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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The Best Monthly Seed Club

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The Best Monthly Seed Club

The package arrived!

The package arrived!

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What I got in the October seed pack from UOG Seed Club. 

What I got in the October seed pack from UOG Seed Club. 

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Looking forward to all these growing and having a bumper harvest.

Looking forward to all these growing and having a bumper harvest.

What I received in my October package

What I received in my October package

It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?  It sounds like the lucky packets we all cherished as children before sugar and plastic took over the world.  Now, the prevailing trends of mass production at all costs, have forced us to proactively search for healthier dietary and lifestyle options.  To most people who have neither the time, knowledge or resources to adopt a more organic lifestyle, this may sound daunting.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be.  In fact, you can start growing your own organic produce indoors (or outdoors) with the Urban Organic Gardener’s (UOG) Monthly Seed Box, delivered right to your door!

Let’s face it – we all long for a healthier life, less stress and more quality time with friends and family.  Increasingly, organic gardeners are discovering that growing your own organic food ticks all these boxes and gives you the benefit of being physically healthier, and financially more self-sustainable.  Relatively few adults have experienced the sheer delight of having their hands in the soil, and the excitement of anticipating the germination of something they have planted, let alone the unparalleled reward of harvesting and eating something they planted from a seed.

Organic gardening is fun and rewarding for the whole family and promotes exposure to the sunshine and fresh air, and ultimately healthier fresh food.  However, there are more serious reasons to consider growing your own organic produce.

Humans need to eat, just as surely as we need to breathe and there is growing evidence that our food is no longer fresh or organic.  The use of toxic fertilizers, insecticides, and ripening agents is well publicized and research is confirming the harmful effects these chemicals have on our bodies.  Add to this the ongoing Genetic Modification of our food, and you are probably losing your appetite already.  If not, then consider this: industrialized mass production of fresh produce is known to:

·        Adversely affect the livelihood of local farmers.

·        Exploit immigrant agricultural workers.

·        Increase the carbon footprint of the industry because of long-distance transportation.

These are a just a few reasons, but they are enough to be of serious concern.  As awareness spreads, more people are embracing organic gardening as a viable way to ensure that their families eat healthy, chemical free food, and they are having loads of fun doing it too.

When the opportunity arose to write a post about UOG’s Monthly seed club, I eagerly accepted.  Not because it was a sponsored post, but because I am a huge fan of their seed boxes.  There are several monthly seed subscriptions available, but UOG’s Seed Club by far offers the best value, even with shipping.  The UOG Seed Club puts organic gardening within financial reach of everyone and best of all, you will only get seeds that are hand-selected for you.

Irrespective of whether you are gardening in patio containers or have backyard hydroponics, UOG’s seed packs are the way to go, because the UOG team creates your tailor-made parcel each month, taking into consideration your geographical location, prevailing weather, growing season and your growing preferences.  How do they know what’s best?  Well, I think there is some magic involved (and I suspect you will too when your first seeds germinate), but just to keep it conventional, they ask you to complete a small questionnaire about your garden.  Their seeds are:

·        Superior raw quality,

·        Untreated, non- Genetically Modified (GMO) Heirloom garden seeds,

·        Most natural seeds available, and (drumroll please…)

·        Guaranteed to grow!  Yes, it no longer has anything to do with the color of your thumbs.

The UOG team carry the pressure of sourcing exciting new seeds of only the finest quality every month, at unbelievably affordable rates, and all you must do is follow the easy instructions on each seed packet’s label, and watch the magic happen.  You will receive different seeds every month, and many subscribers say they enjoy receiving seeds that they might never normally have been exposed to, especially seeds that are more expensive and would be riskier to try.  You can expect your seed box to include vegetable seeds, culinary herbs, fruits and even edible flowers.

Seeds are shipped to your door on the 5th of every month in moisture proof, clearly labeled bags that, if stored in a dry, cool, dark environment, will preserve your seeds for many years to come.  I especially love that the seed bags have their own labels and instructions because many other seed clubs post their how-to instructions online and this can be a bit frustrating when you have a dirty garden spade in your hand.

There are several subscriptions available, starting with a commitment of just $1 per month, which will entitle you to one variety of seeds per month with detailed instructions to grow.  Shipping is added at a cost of $1, and there are no hidden costs whatsoever.

Pro membership offers fully customizable plans ranging from $10 - $57.  Pro subscribers receive five seed varieties every month and their boxes also include soil, plant markers, and other surprises. Even with shipping, UOG’s Seed Club offers unbeatable value, and they even offer gift subscriptions.

Whether you are already an organic gardener, or you are keen to get started, UOG’s monthly seed sub boxes really are supreme.  The only thing that could possibly make them even more magical, (in my humble opinion) is if they were to tuck a recipe or two in, with ideas of how to prepare meals using the produce you harvest from your seeds.   While I dream about organic recipes, you can sign up for your UOG Seed Club Sub Box so long – you won’t regret it! 


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Raised Bed Gardening Guide

Use this guide to help you build the perfect raised bed garden for your home. Raised bed gardening makes it easier to control weeds, pest control, planting and harvesting. It's important to choose the best materials for your budget. Raised beds also make it easier on your back. Using a quality soil mix as outlined below will help you increase yeilds and quality of your harvest.

Raised Bed Gardening Guide Infographic

Raised Bed Gardening Guide Infographic

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

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10 Tomato Growing Tips

Follow all these tips to make growing healthy and fruitful tomato plants easy.


1. Plant your tomato plant in a place with 10 hours of direct sunlight.

2. Have enough space between plants for air flow.

3. Soak the base of your tomato plants once a week or more during those hot summer days.

4. Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches.

5. Use a tomato cage to support your plants.

6. When your tomato plant reaches 3 ft. tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1 ft. of the plant.

7. When your tomatoes start to ripen it’s time to scratch around the bottom and add some compost.

8. Pinching off the tops of the main stems of intermediate varieties in early summer to encourage more energy going into flowering.

9. Remember to check for tomato hornworms (large, green & white striped caterpillars). Pick those critters up and destroy them.

10. Pick your tomatoes when they are full size and ripe, but still firm.


Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

Here's a little infographic to help you work out the best location for your vegetable garden, taking into account the movement of the sun during the year.

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Square Foot Gardening Guide

Square Foot Gardening

 

What is it?

Square foot gardening is a really cool technique which allows you to maximize the space you are using to grow plants, and makes it easier for you to get the utmost out of each area of growth. In simpler terms, think of it like this.

When you are gardening and want a large amount of produce, most people tend to use a technique called row gardening. This is when you plant one kind of seed, for example cabbage, in a row. You plant as many as you can, while also leaving enough space for you to manoeuvre yourself through the row and water the plants, thin down the seedlings, and generally tend to the plants until it is time for harvest. You repeat this with your other types of seeds, until you have row after row of different seeds sprouting from your garden floor.

This isn’t necessarily a bad technique, and while it does have its uses, it does tend to use up quite a bit of space. Not only is there quite a bit of space wasted due to the inefficiency of the system, but there is also quite a bit of water wasted since the layout is not one which allows you to optimize the amount of water used. It also takes quite a bit of energy to make your way around the rows during the time you spend tending to the plants.

So what is Square Foot Gardening?

With square foot gardening, the process is slightly different. Instead of long rows you plant your seeds as close as you can together, only leaving enough space for them to grow properly. Aside from that, you go as close as you can to preserve as much space as possible. You divide your garden beds into 1 foot by 1 foot squares, and plant one type of each seed into these squares. This is why it is referred to as square foot gardening. By doing this, you leave a much more efficient planted pattern, allowing you to make sure you get optimum growth both in quality and in quantity, and also that none of your resources go to waste.

One thing you definitely need to keep in mind however, is the space needed for each plant to grow effectively. When you purchase a pack of seeds, you can see on the back that it usually says “space after thinning”, or something similar. This refers to how much space the plant needs to grow in a health manner. Make sure you take care of that and leave enough space between the seeds so that they can all grow prosperously. An example is lettuce seeds, which need a space of 6 inches between seeds for them to grow properly, while tomato seeds only need 1 inch of space. Adjust your spacing accordingly.

Benefits of Square Foot Gardening

The main benefit of this type of gardening if the fact that you will be able to grow a large number of plants and produce a much higher amount of produce than you would with other types of gardening, due to the efficiency of how you are utilising the space available on the garden bed.

For vegetables, square foot gardening is very effective. For smaller plants like beans, peppers, onions, cabbages and other similar plants, this style of gardening is especially effective as it allows you to really maximize the amount you can grow in limited spaces.

 

Also, this system really does appeal to a lot of new gardeners, simply because it is so easy to understand and to get started. Anyone who has any interest in consistently producing plants and crops should strongly consider this method, as it is an efficient method that can be used for almost any purpose. But is also very easy to understand which is an important aspect for many people.

If you are just getting started and are interested in gardening, you may not be able to start food forests, seed saving, intercropping, green maturing, or any other more advanced techniques simply because you are not in a position of experience and it takes quite a bit of know how to make those systems work.

But square foot gardening, as effective as it is, can be picked up and learned very quickly by even the most inexperienced of novices. It is a great gateway into introducing yourself to home food production, and is the expert’s choice as the best place to start.

Tips

 

Make sure to position your grids properly, as if you position them too close to each other or other features in the garden (fences, display structures, etc;) it may interfere with the plants and the ability you have to tend to them. Layout the grids in an effective manner that will allow the plants to grow freely, and will also allow you to manoeuvre yourself around the garden in an easy manner while you tend to the produce. Poor positioning is hard to undo as it will require you to tear up your growing plants down the line, so make sure you have everything properly lined up before you commit to starting your gardening.

Also, make sure you use good materials. It can be tempting to use just any wood you find to create the sides of the grid, but over time weaker materials will decay and leave your plants at risk. Make sure to use higher quality materials, they may cost a little more but they will be a life saver down the line (in your plants case, literally!).

And lastly, remember that each garden is different and we will all encounter different challenges along the way. There is no one fits all method to grow a successful garden bed using square foot gardening. Study about this method of gardening, and use your common sense to adjust on the fly whenever you may need to.

 

Layout

How should I lay out the grid?

If you are planting multiple types of seed, it is best to make sure similar types of plant are located adjacent to each other. By doing this, it allows you to better structure your garden and tend to each individual grid better as the ones that require similar needs will be located right next to each other, making it easier for you.

How much space is needed for each seed?

Again, the space needed differs and can really vary. It is recommended that you read through any packs or information you may have gotten when you purchased the seed, and that you adhere to their needs. If the seeds are too far apart, then you are wasting space, which is the opposite intention of a square foot garden. However if they are too close together, you will find that each seed struggles to grow properly as it fights for space and resources. You want to avoid this potential catastrophe and make sure the seed has ample space to do its thing.

 

Where is the best place to locate your garden?

The garden needs sunlight to survive and thrive, so the best location would be one where it can get the maximum amount of sunlight possible. A poor location would be one where there is shade for the majority of the day, and this can lead to your garden being deprived of the necessary sunlight it needs to properly grow.

You could conceivably leave it in a place where the sunlight would be more sporadic, although this is not recommended. If possible, try to make sure it remains in a position where the sunlight can easily get to it and it will have plenty of sun rays to guide it through its period of growth.

Square foot gardening infographic

Square foot gardening infographic

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

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The Garden Sunlight Guide

Use this simple guide, to work out how much sunlight your plants need.

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page   www.desima.co

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co


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Different types of aquaponic systems

There are many different type of aquaponics systems. These include media based, NFT(nutrient flow techinque) and DWC (deep water culture). Use this infographic to help choose the right system for you.

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IBC Tote Aquaponics Construction

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IBC Tote Aquaponics Construction

Follow these simple to follow instructions to build your very own IBC Tote aquqponics. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get started on the journey to healthy, organic food for your family.

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How to Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Step

 
 
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How to Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Steps

How to Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Steps

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Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

Check out our recommended succulent planters.

How about you, have you tried this, what was the result? 


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HOW TO GROW AN AVOCADO TREE FROM SEED

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HOW TO GROW AN AVOCADO TREE FROM SEED

 

How To Grow an Avocado Tree From Seed

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avocado_tree
Mature Avocado Tree

Mature Avocado Tree

Some Fun Fact about Avocados
Call them ahuacatl, avocaat, abogado, avocatier, agovago pears or alligator pear, from guacamole to sushi, the world over has enjoyed avocados in a variety of ways. Once considered to have an aphrodisiac effect in many cultures, avocado growers put a lot of effort into dispelling this reputation to increase its popularity.
From guacamole to sushi, avocados have been enjoyed for centuries by all cultures. The fruit of the avocado has been reported to have healthy cardiovascular effects. Avocado oil is now used for many dermatological applications. It has also been reported to have beneficial effects against osteoarthritis.
Most of all – they taste good! 

Nutritional Benefits of Avocados
Nutritionally, each 3.5 oz. avocado averages 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fats and only 2 “net” carbs (9 grams of carbs with 7 from fibre), making them a friendly low-carb food.
5 Easy Steps to start your avocado tree
Things you will need:
•A ripe avocado seed (preferably from a farmer’s market so they are not GM-genetically modified)
•A tumbler (preferably glass)
•Four toothpicks
•Water

The Set-Up
1.Cut the avocado lengthwise, being careful not to cut through the seed. Twist the two halves, exposing the seed – remove the pit
2.Wash the pit carefully-do not use soap, only warm water. Be careful not to remove seed cover. Wash until pit is no longer slippery
3.Hold the pit with the narrow end up and insert 4 toothpicks about midway – these will support the pit when placed in the glass of water
4.Make sure your tumbler is wide enough for your pit – set your pit, rounded end down, in the glass and fill it to rim with water
5.Set in a well-lit, temperate area where it will be undisturbed
Tips: 
•Ensure you replace the water every 1-2 days; this will prevent mould and bacteria from forming
•Keep the base submerged in the water
•Be patient for the roots to sprout – 2-3 weeks-the tap will form within 3-4 weeks – take care not injure
•The skin of the seed will dry out, wrinkle and slough off – this is natural
•The seed will soon sprout at the top, put out leaf-buds and a shoot bearing leaves
•When the stem reaches 15-18cm (7”) cut back to about 7-8cm (3”) to encourage new growth
•When it reaches 15-18cm(7”)  again, it is time to plant your baby avocado tree
•Remove from water and carefully remove the toothpicks

Learn how to grow an avocado tree from seed with this infographic.

 
Infographic on how to grow an avocado tree from seed.

Infographic on how to grow an avocado tree from seed.

Remember if you use this infographic on your website, you must have a link back to this page and our home page www.desima.co

Have you tried this, what was the result?

 
 

how to grow an avocado from seed avoseedo


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EASIEST HERBS TO GROW INDOORS

10 of the Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors

Herbs Potted Up

Herbs Potted Up

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Nothing beats cooking with fresh herbs. The flavour cannot be compared to dry herbs, unless of course you dried them yourself! With a little effort and a few simple supplies, no matter where you live, whether it is an apartment or house, you can have an indoor herb garden year round! Place them in a sunny window of you kitchen and enjoy fresh herbs every day!
Here is a list of the 10 most popular herbs, their characteristics and some uses; follow the easy potting directions for a hassle-free indoor herb garden. 
Get your planting party started!
Things you need:
Several clay pots and a premium potting soil, preferably one that will feed your plants for several months and won’t dry out quickly


Basil
Characteristics and Uses:  Sunny flavour, sweet. Use on beans, potatoes, peas, tomato sauces, chicken dishes, salads. Add on prepared dish or at end of cooking time  
How to start: Basil is best started from seed. Sow seeds generously in pots-don’t plant too deep- 1/4-1/2”
Best Location: Basil needs lots of humidity and sun – cut the bottom off a litre bottle of pop and put over basil to create a “terrarium” effect- keep moist but not wet

Bay Leaf
Characteristics and Uses:  Mint like, pungent -Used in gumbos, sauces, stews
How to start: Bay Laurel is a tree and will grow best if purchased as a seedling. Plant in a pot that will allow for a tap root-transfer when roots come out the bottom
Best Location: Water deeply; allow soil to dry out slightly in between. Bring indoors before the hard frost and put outside after the frost period. Mine does best in my cold kitchen next to a window.


Chives
Characteristics and Uses:  Mild onion flavour. Use as final flavour or at end of cooking or garnish. Chop, snip - Great with potatoes dishes, eggs, poultry, salads, sauces 
How to start: Dig up clumps at end of season – let all leaves die back
Best Location: Bring indoors in early winter-place in coolest part of house for a few days, and then move to sunny spot

Dill
Characteristics and Uses:  Dominating- tangy & pungent Seeds have strong flavour. Salmon, cucumber yogurt sauces, peas, salads, pickling eggplant, cabbage
How to start: Start from seed or clumps -best time to plant dill inside is between October and early spring. Fern leaf dill is ideal or indoors
Best Location: Fertilize every 6 weeks with a ½ strength liquid fertilizer or fish fertilizer. Dill is drought resistant; it will grow better if watered

Mint
Characteristics and Uses:  Sweet and strong -Peppermint and spearmint-Teas, lamb, fish, desserts, salads. 
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Needs full sun plenty of water – watch them grow!

Oregano
Characteristics and Uses:  Adds an earthy flavour to lamb, tomato sauces, seafood, chicken, pork, eggplant
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Oregano likes bright light 6-8 hrs, medium watering

Parsley/Cilantro (Italian Parsley)
Characteristics and Uses:  Bright, clean flavour to chicken, seafood, beef, sauces, potatoes, soups, salads
How to start: Start from seed; plant 1/4 to ½ deep; water deeply
Best Location: Full sun-Keep soil moist as the seeds germinate.  Establish a watering schedule, allowing  to dry some between watering


Rosemary
Characteristics and Uses:  Pungent , piney can overpower other flavours- Chop finely; Add to poultry, lamb,, fruit salads potatoes, white beans, breads
How to start: Propagate from a healthy mother plant: Snip several 2 1/2” (6 1/3cm) stems. Remove bottom set of leaves from your cuttings. Dip the bottom of each cutting in water, and then dip the bottom of each cutting into a rooting compound. Fix each cutting into its own container. Mist your plant. In 2-4 weeks, once rooted, transfer to a larger pot
Best Location: Pinch the top bud to increase the likelihood of your rosemary branching - Use neem oil to treat any pests. If powdery mildew develops, clean leaves with mild soapy water and place in front of a fan to circulate the air – sunny location


Sage
Characteristics and Uses:  Slightly bitter- mint-like. Overpowers easily. Add whole stems to stews and soups-discard when done. Great for pork, sausages, veal, stuffing, poultry, sauces. Note: Dried sage has a different flavour
How to start: Start from seed or buy a small plant from organic grocer
Best Location: Sage needs six to eight hours of full sun daily. If your sunny window does not provide this much daily sun, use fluorescent lighting when growing sage indoors.


Tarragon
Characteristics and Uses:  Liquorice flavour; strong. Use alone or combine with parsley -tomato dishes, vinaigrettes veal, chicken, potatoes, mushrooms
How to start: Best started from root stock that has been separated
Best Location: Tarragon seems to perform best in a lower or diffused light situation- does not perform well when exposed to winter chill
With these herbs in your cooking collection you are off to a GREAT start and some wonderful seasoning.

Do you have some tips you would like to share with us on these or other herbs?  Let us know your thoughts!

 Here's a little infographic  on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

 
Infographic on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

Infographic on the easiest herbs to grow indoors.

Do you agree with the list? Anything missing, what would you add?


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