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Many people have nice land/acreages that could provide them with an abundance of food if the land was put into larger-scale production.

However, many/most of these same people simply don't have the time to start growing this abundance of food on any scale larger than what would be considered by most to be a small garden at the current time. Time really is the consideration for most people that consider themselves survivalists when it comes to larger-scale food production.

But this ability to ramp up production could be critical if events lead us to shortages of food/etc in any kind event.

So I thought I would share what I'm doing to be ready to put my land into larger scale production if the situation required it. Understand I'm not wealthy and that most of what I'm doing I'm doing is on a pretty low budget considering the amount of land I'm clearing/preparing.

I have an old shoebox size farm house I'm raising 5 kids in with my wife in a rural area. We have just about 11 acres. About 65% of it is excellent creek bottom with very good soil. The creek bottom is wooded with a mixture of mature red oaks (very large trees), some mature cherry, and a ton of box elder that are growing all over shading out many of the more desirable trees. At least 3-4 acres of the creek bottom is thinly wooded, mostly with box elder and is not prone to flooding.

Another section of my acreage is upland hardwoods (about 2-3 acres) but again with a lot of box elder, due to the location and topography this part would not be a good one to do any significant growing of crops. My current plan is to use it for a wood lot and maybe plant a few apple trees in spots where there is enough sun.

My last section of land (2-3 acres) is currently farmed by a neighbor as part of his larger 100 acre field, rotating corn/beans each year. This may be the best land for crop growing as it is relatively flat and weed free but after considering it some more i determined that because it is so far from the creek and way uphill from the creek it might be very difficult to grow there in a grid-down situation. It is also separated from the rest of my land by the railroad tracks. This plot is going to stay on the back-burner for now. I have a nice agreement with the neighbor regarding this where he farms this piece and let's me use a section of his land for hunting that he cannot grow crops on. We've taken a lot of deer on this little section out our back door so I'd like to keep this in place as part of our 'protein procurement'.

What I'm doing currently is spending 1-4 hours per weekend in the creek bottom in the thinly wooded area cutting out box elder with the chainsaw. I am cutting it all into short section and then piling (or having the teens pile it as I cut) it up to dry out. All of these trees are being cut off level with the ground.

Once these piles have dried out a little bit over the winter months then I'll burn the piles before the snow is gone (to prevent grass fires).

Once the piles are burned and spring comes I'm going to give it a month or two for the weeds and everything to start growing again. Then I'm going to spray it all with weed killer. I bought a sprayer tank on amazon for $135 with pump and I'm going to build a boom for it to make it spray 5' wide. I'll probably mount it on an old 4 wheeler I have as I think that would give me better access.

Understand it would be good to till or plow this but the issue with that is I have relatively small equipment (subcompact tractor and old 4 wheeler) and this soil though excellent is going to have a certain amount of rocks exposed if I plow it. Plowing really isn't my plan at this time as this just turns it into more work having to pick the rock and haul it somewhere.

Once the weeds are killed off good I'm going to plant some perennial deer food plots in the newly cleared section, mainly a mix of clovers, maybe alfalfa, etc. The seed I have does not need to be buried. The direction say to simply spread it (I'll use a hand-crank spreader), and then roll it with some type of roller so it is in good contact with the soil. I am going to build a roller out of a steel 55 gallon drum that i have laying around. I'll probably fill it with sand and then pull it with the little subcompact.

Once this is done and it starts growing good, hopefully my only work would be to spot spray the box elders that are sure to sucker up from the flat-to-the-ground stumps. And I would also spot spray any other weeds that come up. Basically staying ahead of the issues to prevent the plot from going back to overgrown creek bottom.

Over time the box elder stumps will rot out and the voids can be filled with soil.

This leaves me with a bigger area that can be put into production beyond my little fenced in garden where I have a few raised beds. But only if it turns out that this needs to happen, dictated mostly by whether a serious event occurs.

I currently have a year's supply of food for the family so we could get by at least until the next growing season.

The creek bottom is not ideal to grow things but for grid down it seems to me to be better than the other options which are far away from water for irrigation and further from the house. Having to hand-haul water could be an issue. I do have an excellent pump from harbor freight I would use to pump water to tanks but like anything, that could fail. I used it for watering my 6-apple tree orchard and it worked great, even pumped it uphill with zero problems. Sipped fuel.

I have some attachments for the subcompact that don't fit it so I am also slowly converting them over to 3 point as I get time. I am not much for welding so my brother helps me with that.

Is anyone else doing something similar, clearing land for future use and maintaining it for future production if TSHTF?
 

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Many people have nice land/acreages that could provide them with an abundance of food if the land was put into larger-scale production.

However, many/most of these same people simply don't have the time to start growing this abundance of food on any scale larger than what would be considered by most to be a small garden at the current time. Time really is the consideration for most people that consider themselves survivalists when it comes to larger-scale food production.

But this ability to ramp up production could be critical if events lead us to shortages of food/etc in any kind event.

So I thought I would share what I'm doing to be ready to put my land into larger scale production if the situation required it. Understand I'm not wealthy and that most of what I'm doing I'm doing is on a pretty low budget considering the amount of land I'm clearing/preparing.

I have an old shoebox size farm house I'm raising 5 kids in with my wife in a rural area. We have just about 11 acres. About 65% of it is excellent creek bottom with very good soil. The creek bottom is wooded with a mixture of mature red oaks (very large trees), some mature cherry, and a ton of box elder that are growing all over shading out many of the more desirable trees. At least 3-4 acres of the creek bottom is thinly wooded, mostly with box elder and is not prone to flooding.

Another section of my acreage is upland hardwoods (about 2-3 acres) but again with a lot of box elder, due to the location and topography this part would not be a good one to do any significant growing of crops. My current plan is to use it for a wood lot and maybe plant a few apple trees in spots where there is enough sun.

My last section of land (2-3 acres) is currently farmed by a neighbor as part of his larger 100 acre field, rotating corn/beans each year. This may be the best land for crop growing as it is relatively flat and weed free but after considering it some more i determined that because it is so far from the creek and way uphill from the creek it might be very difficult to grow there in a grid-down situation. It is also separated from the rest of my land by the railroad tracks. This plot is going to stay on the back-burner for now. I have a nice agreement with the neighbor regarding this where he farms this piece and let's me use a section of his land for hunting that he cannot grow crops on. We've taken a lot of deer on this little section out our back door so I'd like to keep this in place as part of our 'protein procurement'.

What I'm doing currently is spending 1-4 hours per weekend in the creek bottom in the thinly wooded area cutting out box elder with the chainsaw. I am cutting it all into short section and then piling (or having the teens pile it as I cut) it up to dry out. All of these trees are being cut off level with the ground.

Once these piles have dried out a little bit over the winter months then I'll burn the piles before the snow is gone (to prevent grass fires).

Once the piles are burned and spring comes I'm going to give it a month or two for the weeds and everything to start growing again. Then I'm going to spray it all with weed killer. I bought a sprayer tank on amazon for $135 with pump and I'm going to build a boom for it to make it spray 5' wide. I'll probably mount it on an old 4 wheeler I have as I think that would give me better access.

Understand it would be good to till or plow this but the issue with that is I have relatively small equipment (subcompact tractor and old 4 wheeler) and this soil though excellent is going to have a certain amount of rocks exposed if I plow it. Plowing really isn't my plan at this time as this just turns it into more work having to pick the rock and haul it somewhere.

Once the weeds are killed off good I'm going to plant some perennial deer food plots in the newly cleared section, mainly a mix of clovers, maybe alfalfa, etc. The seed I have does not need to be buried. The direction say to simply spread it (I'll use a hand-crank spreader), and then roll it with some type of roller so it is in good contact with the soil. I am going to build a roller out of a steel 55 gallon drum that i have laying around. I'll probably fill it with sand and then pull it with the little subcompact.

Once this is done and it starts growing good, hopefully my only work would be to spot spray the box elders that are sure to sucker up from the flat-to-the-ground stumps. And I would also spot spray any other weeds that come up. Basically staying ahead of the issues to prevent the plot from going back to overgrown creek bottom.

Over time the box elder stumps will rot out and the voids can be filled with soil.

This leaves me with a bigger area that can be put into production beyond my little fenced in garden where I have a few raised beds. But only if it turns out that this needs to happen, dictated mostly by whether a serious event occurs.

I currently have a year's supply of food for the family so we could get by at least until the next growing season.

The creek bottom is not ideal to grow things but for grid down it seems to me to be better than the other options which are far away from water for irrigation and further from the house. Having to hand-haul water could be an issue. I do have an excellent pump from harbor freight I would use to pump water to tanks but like anything, that could fail. I used it for watering my 6-apple tree orchard and it worked great, even pumped it uphill with zero problems. Sipped fuel.

I have some attachments for the subcompact that don't fit it so I am also slowly converting them over to 3 point as I get time. I am not much for welding so my brother helps me with that.

Is anyone else doing something similar, clearing land for future use and maintaining it for future production if TSHTF?
To make it even more useful can you add human food the the deer plot mix? A lot of food plot mixes tend to be heavy on clover and brassica. But others are heavy on some type of peas, radish, turnip, and non head lettuce. Some also mix in a bit of corn, sunflower and some type of pumpkin/squash. If you plant the second type of mix if things ever go bad at a time to late to plant but before late fall a person could glean a lot of human food from such a food plot, and still hunt deer in it.
 

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I am a big fan of fruit trees and bushes. Very low effort even when calculating the up front labor.

I plan on transplanting all the berry bushes I planted 3 years ago when we buy our next house in a year which I hope is similar to your setup for land. Once I split them up we should have 100 plus start plants.

Then planting a bunch of 2-3 year old fruit trees that I can buy in bulk.

The idea of planting edible for human deer plot is a good one.

Things I am researching for the future homestead that I like.

-Identifying edible nut trees

-Finding maple trees and buying the basic equipment for maple syrup. From what I have read/helped making for weekend you can get basic starting supplies for 40 bucks for dozen trees.

-Raise small flock of chickens for everyday needs to expand flock when SHTF. Even if you don't want to deal with them everyday having the coop/pen prebuilt will save you a good amount of time. Just look around for eggs for sale and keep a list of people to barter with when you need them.


-Tilling up a garden/field for corn and sunflowers to feed chickens

-Plant a garden every year but do minimal effort to maintain. I have tried this for 2 years where I planted the seeds and water till the sprouted. Then I mulched the garden with grass and never weeded it. Production was about 1/2 what my moms garden would produce but she weeded/spend 2 hours every day on it.
 

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.

Is anyone else doing something similar, clearing land for future use and maintaining it for future production if TSHTF?
I have 100-150 fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and canes.

Going to put in a few more acres of nuts, a few rows of grapes, and a few more fruit trees.

Also Going to cut back some of the trees and fence in a few acres of pasture.
 

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-Finding maple trees and buying the basic equipment for maple syrup. From what I have read/helped making for weekend you can get basic starting supplies for 40 bucks for dozen trees.

The issue with getting into maple syrup on the cheap is finding a syrup pan. If you happen to be in northwest WI and want to barrow a pan I have a few that I outgrew that I could loan out to you to get you started.
 

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The issue with getting into maple syrup on the cheap is finding a syrup pan. If you happen to be in northwest WI and want to barrow a pan I have a few that I outgrew that I could loan out to you to get you started.
Appreciate the offer but still have to get the land first plus I am in the southern part. I figured a turkey roasting pan I currently have would work for getting my feet wet on this again.
 

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Once these piles have dried out a little bit over the winter months then I'll burn the piles before the snow is gone (to prevent grass fires).
Is box elder not good for firewood?

Honesty question, its not a thing in my AO so I know nothing about it.

I have ten acres of fire and pine here that I am slowly clearing parts of it but most of it ends up in my firewood pile and gets put to use.

I don't really have the climate or geography for large scale food production but you can do a lot in a fairly small area if its intensively cultivated with greenhouses etc....but even that has to be cleared here as sunlight is a big thing I have to fight for.
 

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Box elder is extreamly difficult to split and doesnt like to stay burning. I had one go down in my back yard and thought I might as well make it into firewood since I had to do something with it anyways. I busted my butt to split it and once it was dry I found out it was very difficult to keep burning in my small-ish stove. The stump and any chunks of firewood that is touching the ground will send up hundreds of sprouts. It is very hard to kill. The always grow scraggly, fall over and continue growing. The sprouts are good for basket making and maybe arrows.
 

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The always grow scraggly, fall over and continue growing. The sprouts are good for basket making and maybe arrows.
Maybe wattle fences too? That is something I always think looks cool but I don't have any of the right kinds of brush/saplings here to make them.

Thanks for the explanation.
 

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To the OP, I believe you are doing great. You raise an incredible amount of food on just 4-5 ac.

I purchased 64 ac of forested land here in Oklahoma, and I am also cutting, spraying, reseeding, and ordering trees.

But instead of planting your newly cleared acreage with pasture grasses, why not order trees well suited to attracting wildlife, and provide human food as well. The 100 tree bundle I ordered lasr month includes 25 ea Shumard Oak, Osage Orange, Persimmon, and Sand Plum (cost $100) and I ordered about a dozen nut trees (grafted Pecan, Dunstan Chestnuts) and a simmilar number of fruit trees.

When I seed pastures and grain, I rough up the soil with a disk or harrow, then seed it with a small garden spreader. You could practice by planting a half ac of rye or red wheat next fall, and see how well it grows in your area.
 

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We recently bought a 50 acre place in WV and are also looking at minimal labor farming methods. Don't want to use Roundup on our land, and prefer 1850s technology in case things crash. We are going to try root crops in the garden for calories, existing black walnut trees for plant protein/fats, and six well fenced sheep for meat. Life is an adventure. Good luck!!!
 

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Option to using a gas powered water pump to move creek water uphill: You can find a small water pump that can be powered by solar panels. Buy backups of both. Use the pump to run every day to fill up a stock tank that is uphill of any trees/plants that have to be watered. I don't know what elevation difference you have to deal with (i.e., head pressure), but you can also do this in two stages to accommodate the pump performance. Pump uphill halfway to a stock tank, then have another pump to pull water from that stock tank and pump it up to the final, higher stock tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
To make it even more useful can you add human food the the deer plot mix? A lot of food plot mixes tend to be heavy on clover and brassica. But others are heavy on some type of peas, radish, turnip, and non head lettuce. Some also mix in a bit of corn, sunflower and some type of pumpkin/squash. If you plant the second type of mix if things ever go bad at a time to late to plant but before late fall a person could glean a lot of human food from such a food plot, and still hunt deer in it.
I was going with the clovers because I figure that other than mowing it once in a while that I could probably get away with very little work on the plot due to being so short of time. I do like the idea though of just throwing in some squash and pumpkin here and there, though that may turn into more work having to rip the vines out later in the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is box elder not good for firewood?

Honesty question, its not a thing in my AO so I know nothing about it.

I have ten acres of fire and pine here that I am slowly clearing parts of it but most of it ends up in my firewood pile and gets put to use.

I don't really have the climate or geography for large scale food production but you can do a lot in a fairly small area if its intensively cultivated with greenhouses etc....but even that has to be cleared here as sunlight is a big thing I have to fight for.
I have burned it for heat in the past. It cuts easily as it is so soft, splits easy, and dries out quick but is also very quick to take up moisture again and actually starts to rot out very fast. The wood smoke from it stinks really bad too. It will give you heat but is very low btu's compared to most of the other woods around us here. Most do not know it but box elder is actually a maple and you can tap it for maple syrup. That may be the one thing it is good for along with carving and turning for making lightweight furniture.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe wattle fences too? That is something I always think looks cool but I don't have any of the right kinds of brush/saplings here to make them.

Thanks for the explanation.
I think it could be useful for that. I noticed that most of the fields where they meet the wooded plots have these growing on the edges primarily. Every few years you have to cut them out otherwise they grow up and angle out over your fields. If they were cut off at 3-4' high and allowed to sucker you could probably make a fence in a few years.
 

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I'm going to add this thread to my followed list for future use. Currently living on less than an acre right now.

Regarding the box elder, I've heard that the way to kill trees that keep coming back is to cut them off close to the ground and then scratch up the bark really good before spraying. The herbicide absorbs into the stump better that way.
 

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I was going with the clovers because I figure that other than mowing it once in a while that I could probably get away with very little work on the plot due to being so short of time. I do like the idea though of just throwing in some squash and pumpkin here and there, though that may turn into more work having to rip the vines out later in the year.
I see no reason you couldn't just mow right over them(at least at the right time of year)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
To the OP, I believe you are doing great. If you raise an incredible amount of food on just 4-5 ac.

I purchased 64 ac of forested land here in Oklahoma, and I am also cutting, spraying, reseeding, and ordering trees.

But instead of planting your newly cleared acreage with pasture grasses, why not order trees well suited to attracting wildlife, and provide human food as well. The 100 tree bundle I ordered lasr month includes 25 ea Shumard Oak, Osage Orange, Persimmon, and Sand Plum (cost $100) and I ordered about a dozen nut trees (grafted Pecan, Dunstan Chestnuts) and a simmilar number of fruit trees.

When I seed pastures and grain, I rough up the soil with a disk or harrow, then seed it with a small garden spreader. You could practice by planting a half ac of rye or red wheat next fall, and see how well it grows in your area.
I have a small orchard of 6 standard sized trees I planted three years ago. Last year we got (2) 5-gallon buckets of apples so they are coming along nicely. We have 12-13 large black walnuts that give us bushels and bushels of nuts each year and I've been keeping them in good condition with regular pruning. We also have raspberries, currants, blueberries already planted and starting to produce. This is our 8th year on the place. I do have some trees coming this spring, 6 chestnuts and a few other things i ordered including a pear tree that i wanted to try.

I do have an old Ferguson double-gang disc that I'm going to adapt for the subcompact. I originally had a D14 Allis but got rid of it when the motor blew.
 

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Many people have nice land/acreages that could provide them with an abundance of food if the land was put into larger-scale production.

However, many/most of these same people simply don't have the time to start growing this abundance of food on any scale larger than what would be considered by most to be a small garden at the current time. Time really is the consideration for most people that consider themselves survivalists when it comes to larger-scale food production.

But this ability to ramp up production could be critical if events lead us to shortages of food/etc in any kind event.

So I thought I would share what I'm doing to be ready to put my land into larger scale production if the situation required it. Understand I'm not wealthy and that most of what I'm doing I'm doing is on a pretty low budget considering the amount of land I'm clearing/preparing.

I have an old shoebox size farm house I'm raising 5 kids in with my wife in a rural area. We have just about 11 acres. About 65% of it is excellent creek bottom with very good soil. The creek bottom is wooded with a mixture of mature red oaks (very large trees), some mature cherry, and a ton of box elder that are growing all over shading out many of the more desirable trees. At least 3-4 acres of the creek bottom is thinly wooded, mostly with box elder and is not prone to flooding.

Another section of my acreage is upland hardwoods (about 2-3 acres) but again with a lot of box elder, due to the location and topography this part would not be a good one to do any significant growing of crops. My current plan is to use it for a wood lot and maybe plant a few apple trees in spots where there is enough sun.

My last section of land (2-3 acres) is currently farmed by a neighbor as part of his larger 100 acre field, rotating corn/beans each year. This may be the best land for crop growing as it is relatively flat and weed free but after considering it some more i determined that because it is so far from the creek and way uphill from the creek it might be very difficult to grow there in a grid-down situation. It is also separated from the rest of my land by the railroad tracks. This plot is going to stay on the back-burner for now. I have a nice agreement with the neighbor regarding this where he farms this piece and let's me use a section of his land for hunting that he cannot grow crops on. We've taken a lot of deer on this little section out our back door so I'd like to keep this in place as part of our 'protein procurement'.

What I'm doing currently is spending 1-4 hours per weekend in the creek bottom in the thinly wooded area cutting out box elder with the chainsaw. I am cutting it all into short section and then piling (or having the teens pile it as I cut) it up to dry out. All of these trees are being cut off level with the ground.

Once these piles have dried out a little bit over the winter months then I'll burn the piles before the snow is gone (to prevent grass fires).

Once the piles are burned and spring comes I'm going to give it a month or two for the weeds and everything to start growing again. Then I'm going to spray it all with weed killer. I bought a sprayer tank on amazon for $135 with pump and I'm going to build a boom for it to make it spray 5' wide. I'll probably mount it on an old 4 wheeler I have as I think that would give me better access.

Understand it would be good to till or plow this but the issue with that is I have relatively small equipment (subcompact tractor and old 4 wheeler) and this soil though excellent is going to have a certain amount of rocks exposed if I plow it. Plowing really isn't my plan at this time as this just turns it into more work having to pick the rock and haul it somewhere.

Once the weeds are killed off good I'm going to plant some perennial deer food plots in the newly cleared section, mainly a mix of clovers, maybe alfalfa, etc. The seed I have does not need to be buried. The direction say to simply spread it (I'll use a hand-crank spreader), and then roll it with some type of roller so it is in good contact with the soil. I am going to build a roller out of a steel 55 gallon drum that i have laying around. I'll probably fill it with sand and then pull it with the little subcompact.

Once this is done and it starts growing good, hopefully my only work would be to spot spray the box elders that are sure to sucker up from the flat-to-the-ground stumps. And I would also spot spray any other weeds that come up. Basically staying ahead of the issues to prevent the plot from going back to overgrown creek bottom.

Over time the box elder stumps will rot out and the voids can be filled with soil.

This leaves me with a bigger area that can be put into production beyond my little fenced in garden where I have a few raised beds. But only if it turns out that this needs to happen, dictated mostly by whether a serious event occurs.

I currently have a year's supply of food for the family so we could get by at least until the next growing season.

The creek bottom is not ideal to grow things but for grid down it seems to me to be better than the other options which are far away from water for irrigation and further from the house. Having to hand-haul water could be an issue. I do have an excellent pump from harbor freight I would use to pump water to tanks but like anything, that could fail. I used it for watering my 6-apple tree orchard and it worked great, even pumped it uphill with zero problems. Sipped fuel.

I have some attachments for the subcompact that don't fit it so I am also slowly converting them over to 3 point as I get time. I am not much for welding so my brother helps me with that.

Is anyone else doing something similar, clearing land for future use and maintaining it for future production if TSHTF?
How do you till your garden and till the green manure back into the soil and how will you do it if SHTF? If the grid went down how would you irrigate? How big are your water storage tanks? What is your annual precipitation? If necessary, could you get water off your roofs and use that stored water for your garden. I, too, live on 11 acres but don't garden now, but have extensively in the past. Clay soil, constantly needing green and animal manure. A lot of things would change if grid down.
 

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Understand it would be good to till or plow this but the issue with that is I have relatively small equipment (subcompact tractor and old 4 wheeler) and this soil though excellent is going to have a certain amount of rocks exposed if I plow it. Plowing really isn't my plan at this time as this just turns it into more work having to pick the rock and haul it somewhere.
This was my post yet it posted under some other user name. How is that one possible? I have never used this user name.
 
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