Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Postponed

Hope everyone is staying safe. Just an update. The Saturday morning CVG classes have been postponed. We have missed March 14, 21st, and now 28th of class. The Bexar County Master Gardeners, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension staff wish you and your families well.

While we are all doing our part and practicing social distancing, check us out on Facebook for some online trainings and gardening updates!

https://m.facebook.com/AgrilifeBexarCounty/

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Spring 2020 Season NOW OPEN!!

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program

CVG Girl with entries resizedSpring 2020 Registration Now Open!!

 

If you did not know, we have two Children’s Vegetable Garden Program sites in San Antonio. The  CVGP at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is held on Saturday mornings and our other is held at the Historic Homestead in Phil Hardberger Park on Tuesday mornings.

Both sessions are now OPEN for registration. Check out the flyers below for more info!

Children’s Vegetable Garden at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens

Children’s Vegetable Garden at Phil Hardberger Park

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 12, November 23rd 2019

Hello all!!

A special thank you goes out to all the volunteers, parents, children and partners who went that extra mile to make last week’s Vegetable Contest, Picnic and Recognition ceremony a great success!

Congratulations! to all the youth gardeners on a very successful harvest.

Our Junior Master Gardner activity was conducted by Ms. Takisha Durst – Urban Agriculture Educator on Path to the Plate – Tomatoes”

 

Check out our chores for the day!!

  • Weed Management: We made sure that the inside and the outside of our plot is clean of any weeds.

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  • Insect Management: Remove and dispose of any insects that are damaging your plants.

 

  • Leaf Debris Management: Remove all discolored and damaged leaves from your plants as well as any plants that have stopped producing

  • Cauliflower Banding: Wrap one large rubber band around your really large cauliflower leaves. Task for two (2) people to prevent any damage. We were assigned this today, but since the cauliflower were still a bit small we are waiting until next week to do it.
  • Harvest: Harvest any/all vegetables that are ready.

  • Water: We made sure our plot is thoroughly and adequately watered before leaving today.

  • Shed Management: Clean all tools and return them to the sheds in an orderly fashion.

 

  • Fire Ant Control: Section Leaders will treat any ant issues before leaving today. Please do not leave any flags in the garden after ants have been treated.

 

Thank you and Happy Gardening!!

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 7, October 19th, 2019

 

Agenda 7: Gardening Session #7

This is perfect weather to grow vegetables this week with some well needed rain!

Do you know all the life cycles of a Lady Bug?  Do you see different life stages on your cucumber plants?  Why are they helpful in the garden?  Each section will have two bags of Lady Bugs to release throughout their plots?  Simply open the bag and gently shake a few out here and there.  DO NOT shake any on your broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kale, cauliflower or cabbage plants.

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  • Your plot and walkways should be 100% weed free (especially spurge) before you leaving this morning. This includes removing weeds from underneath your plants, irrigation lines and the plots corners.  Some plots still have too many weeds visible?  Make sure you are pulling weeds and not your vegetable seedlings that have germinated.

Euphorbia maculata,	Prostrate Spurge

Applying a thin layer of mulch on your plots walkways will help reduce weed pressure.

  • Remove all bamboo stakes from your plots that are not needed.
  • Keep bringing material for our compost pile. Please make sure that the material that is brought this morning is covered.   Mary will assign someone close to the end of the day to address this need.
  • Most of all your seeds should be up by this morning? We will wait till next week to spot sow any vegetables that have not come up including cilantro, beets, lettuce, carrots and radishes.  This will be the last week to do so.

 

  • Broccoli/Kale/Head cabbage/Cauliflower: Check plants for caterpillars and properly relocate them with the help of your garden mentors. Remove any leaves from the bottom part of the plant that look yellow or brown.  Hand water this area real good. Plants will be treated at the end of today’s session with liquid Bt at the correct dilution rates per gallon of water.
  • Beans: Hand water this area real good, but take caution not to knock your plants over. Some plants look burnt?
  • Beets: Hand water this area real good, but take caution not to knock your plants over.
  • Chinese cabbage: Check plants for caterpillars and properly relocate them with the help of your garden mentors. Remove any leaves from the bottom part of the plant that look yellow or brown.  DO NOT let these plants get overgrown.  Harvest/cut some of the bottom leaves to use in soups or a salad.   Hand water this area real good. Hand water this area real good. Plants will be treated at the end of today’s session with liquid Bt at the correct dilution rates per gallon of water.
  • Tomato plants: Gently tuck your plants to the inside of your cages; otherwise tie the branches to the cages with strips of plastic shopping bags. Gently remove any yellow leaves off your plants and any leaves touching the soil.  Hand water this area real good.
  • Cucumber: Some plants look burnt? Any cucumbers to harvest today?  Gently remove any yellow/brown leaves off your plants and any leaves touching the soil or blocking your radish plants.
  • Yellow squash: Hand water this area real good. Without damaging your plants, harvest all sizes of squash this morning as not to let them get overgrown by next week.
  • Carrots: Mini-Plot #2 and Lettuce: Mini-Plot #3

How does the area look?

  • Make sure that your irrigation lines in your plot are 100% unclogged. Correctly water your plot real well before leaving today.
  • Treat all ants before leaving today and DO NOT leave any flags throughout the garden.

 

  • Please do not return any dirty tools to the Tool Shed. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep that area clean!

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 6, October 12th, 2019

 

Agenda 6: Gardening Session #6

A special thanks goes out to our dedicated watering team in keeping our garden growing

and alive throughout the season from one Saturday to the next.  I hope everyone can agree on this as we all can see how beautiful everything looks this morning.

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  • Your plot and walkways should be 100% free of weeds before leaving today. No spurge or any other weeds….
  • Remove all bamboo stakes from your plots that are not needed.
  • Keep bringing material for the compost pile. Discard any rocks or coarse material into the adjacent grassy area when screening the compost/soil too.
  • Have all your seeds germinated to date? If they haven’t, it’s because they were probably planted too deep.
  • Snapdragons: Cut all your plants back by about 20% if this was not done last week.  Make sure that all the plants are firmed in real well. Hand water this area real good. Fertilize around the four plants with one cup of organic granulated fertilizer.
  • Broccoli: Check plants for caterpillars and properly relocate them with the help of your Garden Mentors. Remove any leaves from the bottom part of the plant that look yellow or brown.  Fertilize around both plants with one cup of organic granulated fertilizer.  Do not get any fertilizer on the plants leaves or close to their crowns. Hand water this area real good.
  • Beans: Properly reseed any plants that have not emerged. Hand water this area real good, but take caution not to knock your plants over.
  • Beets: Some plots have many of their beets up already. If you do not see visible leaves up, then you probably planted them too deep.  Properly reseed any plants that have not emerged (plant them barely below the soil surface). Hand water this area real good, but take caution not to knock your plants over.
  • Chinese cabbage: Check plants for caterpillars and properly relocate them with the help of your Garden Mentors. Remove any leaves from the bottom part of the plant that look yellow or brown.  Start harvesting/cutting some of the bottom leaves to use in soups or a salad. Hand water this area real good.
  • Tomato plants: Gently tuck your plants to the inside of your cages; otherwise tie the branches to the cages with strips of plastic shopping bags. Fertilize the outer ring of your tomato cages as you did last week with one full cup of organic fertilizer per plant.  Keep a watchful eye for any bad insects on your plants. Gently remove any yellow leaves off your plants and any leaves touching the soil.  Hand water this area real good.
  • Cucumber: Any to harvest today? Gently remove any yellow leaves off your plants and any leaves touching the soil.
  • Yellow squash: After weeding this planted zone, fertilize around your four plants with one cup of organic fertilizer. Hand water this area real good.

Carrots

Three rows of carrot seeds will be sown in mini plot #2.

Before planting, apply one full cup of organic granulated fertilizer to this allocated planting area and scratch it in real well with the native existing soil.  Make sure that the area is nice and leveled after this first step.

Water the area in real, real good.

Proceed six inches away toward the tomato cage.

This will be the first row to direct seed the first group of 15 seeds.  Each seed should be planted 2-3 inches apart and barely below the soil surface.  The other two rows should be spaced 6 inches apart from one another and planted the same as the first row.

It’s best to lay out all the seeds before planting.

Gently push each seed barely below the soil.

Don’t forget your one plant tag.

Lettuce

Three rows of lettuce seeds will be sown in mini plot #3.

Before planting, apply one full cup of organic granulated fertilizer to this allocated planting area and scratch it in real well with the existing native soil.  Make sure that the area is nice and leveled after this first step.

Water the area in real, real good.

Proceed six inches away toward the tomato cage.

This will be the first row to direct seed the first group of 15 seeds.  Each seed should be planted 2-3 inches apart and at the soil surface.  The other two rows should be spaced 6 inches apart from one another and planted the same as the first row.

It’s best to lay out all the seeds before planting.

Gently push each seed in to have contact with the soil.

Don’t forget your one plant tag.

  • Make sure that your irrigation lines in your plot are 100% unclogged and that your plot is watered real well and correctly before leaving today.
  • All plants that are growing in your plots should have a light application of liquid Spinosad applied to them at the correct dilution rate after they have been fertilized and watered in real well.
  • Treat all ants before leaving today and DO NOT leave any flags throughout the garden

 

  • Please do not return any dirty tools to the Tool Shed. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep that area clean!

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 4, September 28th, 2019

Friendly Reminders for Children, Parents and Volunteers:

  • If it is necessary to be absent, please send a family representative to help with these plot chores; especially if your child is unable to attend on a Saturday.
  • Start collecting material for the Junior Master Gardener Scarecrow Activity (October 12th). A list of materials will be attached to “Agenda 4” email.
  • Many of the plots are starting to get weedy inside them with spurge weed as well as their walk-ways. So please stay up on weeding as well as picking up any rocks, trash and other debris. Please continue to pull out any weeds such as palm trees when you are walking here and there throughout the garden.
  • Keep bringing your coffee grounds, disposable coffee filters, tea bags, egg shells, vegetable scraps to add to the compost pile.
  • Discard any rocks from the compost pile

Continue to cultivate the soil inside your plot that has nothing planted in it to a minimum depth of 4 inches with a 3/4 tine long-handled cultivator. This process does not only loosen up the soil, but also keeps weeds down. Make sure to break up any soil clogs and that your plot upon completion is nice and leveled by using an inverted garden rake. If extra soil is needed in your plot bring some from the backside of our pile after it has been sieved.

Today’s Plantings

Snapdragons

  • Use the irrigation on/off valve as a guideline. Your snapdragon plants will be planted in the first mini-plot between the front of the plot and the on/off irrigation valve.
  • Apply one cup of organic fertilizer to this area and make sure that the area is topped off with well blended soil.
  • Do not remove the transplants from the 6-pack until they have been thoroughly soaked.
  • All 6-pack transplants (tray and all) should be carefully pre-soaked in a bucket of water just above the soil line of the plants/cell pack, until all air bubbles stop coming out from the soil line.
  • Two plants should be evenly spaced and planted on each side of the irrigation line and about 4 inches away from the top and bottom of the plot. (A total of four plants will be planted.)
  • DO NOT remove the peat pot. Firm the plants in very well, but take caution not to break the main stem or damage any leaves.
  • Proceed by slowly watering your plant in with the water can a couple of times and don’t forget your plant tag.

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‘Baby’ Beet

  • Three rows of beet seeds will be sown in mini plot #1.
  • Proceed six inches away toward the tomato cage from the last row of bean seeds planted last week.
  • This will be the first row to direct seed the first group of 15 seeds. Each seed should be planted 2-3 inches apart and about a half an inch below the soil surface.
  • The other two rows should be spaced 6 inches apart from one another and planted the same as the first row.
  • Before planting, apply one full cup of organic granulated fertilizer to this allocated planting area and scratch it in real well with the native existing soil. Make sure that the area is nice and leveled after this first step.
  • It’s best to lay out all the seeds into their pre-made planting rows for proper spacing before any seeds get covered, planted and firmed in.
  • Water the area in after they have been planted and lightly press in any seeds that might be visible after watering.
  • Don’t forget your one plant tag.

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Chinese cabbage

  • 6-packs in there holding trays should be pre-soaked before planting
  • Do not remove the peat pot.
  • Plant plants at soil level and not any deeper and water in real well.
  • None of the peat pot should be visible after planting and watering as quite a few cabbage and cauliflower where last week.
  • Don’t forget your plant tag.

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‘Toscano’ Kale

  • 6-packs in there holding trays should be pre-soaked before planting
  • Space your plants out 12 inches away from the top and bottom inside of the plot and about 18 inches from each other.
  • Do not remove the peat pot.
  • Firm the plants in very well, but take caution not to break the main stem or damage any leaves.
  • None of the peat pot should be visible after planting and watering.
  • Don’t forget to put out your plant tag.

Fertilizer

Fertilize all your new and established plants with Hasta-Gro starter mix. Instructors will mix 1 oz. of Hasta-Gro with half of the water can, about 1 gallon of water (not full water can). Do not let any of the fertilizer get on the leaves, just on the soil around the plants.
Water Management
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Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 3, September 21st, 2019

Friendly Reminders for Children, Parents and Volunteers:

  • Make sure you are receiving the agenda
  • DO NOT walk on the garden beds
  • Pick up any trash or debris in walkways
  • Keep bringing your coffee grounds, disposable coffee filters, tea bags, egg shells, vegetable scraps to add to the compost pile.
  • Discard any rocks from the compost pile

How are your plants doing this morning?

Make sure you cultivate the soil in and around your plot that has nothing planted in it to a minimum depth of 4 inches with a four tine long-handled cultivator. This process will not only loosen up the soil, but also helps with weed control, and water, nutrition and oxygen uptake by the plants.

Slowly add and thoroughly mix into your existing native plot soil some screened soil/compost from our pile in the back of the browned fenced area at the planting area located at the very front of your plot where the on/off irrigation valve.

Is your cucumber properly trained and attached to its trellis?

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Are all your squash plants up this morning? If so, are they nice and healthy looking? Is any reseeding needed?
Gently rub the backside of your broccoli plants to control the hatching and feeding of any cabbage looper caterpillars. These plants and your newly planted cabbage and broccoli plants after they are watered real well today will be treated with liquid Spinosad.

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Pinch off any leaves of your tomato plants that are touching the ground.
Spread a fresh layer of mulch around each of your tomato plants as seen in the example plot. Do not put any excess soil or mulch up on the crown of your plants. The mulch is located outside of the front entrance of the garden. This process will tremendously help out are tomato plants with this heat.
Water all your plants in real well and lightly feed them with some liquid fertilizer before leaving today.

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Today’s Plantings

‘Cosmos’ Bush Beans

  • First apply one cup of organic granulated fertilizer and mix in with a cultivator
  • Next, wet the soil
  • Then, place each seed with proper spacing.
  • Beans will be planted in three rows each 6 inches apart.
  • Each seed should be planted 2-3 inches apart and about 1/2 inch below the soil surface
  • After, seed spacing is measured and seeds are placed, lightly press in the seeds.

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‘Snow Crown’ Cauliflower

  • 6-packs in there holding trays should be pre-soaked before planting
  • Do not remove the peat pot.
  • If the plants are too top heavy, plant your plants a little bit below the soil line or as deep as the first set of leaves (Mr. Mayer will confirm).
  • Firm the plants in very well, but take caution not to break the main stem or damage any leaves as we did with last week’s broccoli plants.
  • None of the peat pot should be visible after planting and watering.
  • Don’t forget your plant tag.

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‘Cheers’ Head Cabbage

  • 6-packs in there holding trays should be pre-soaked before planting
  • Space your plants about 18 inches from each other.
  • Do not remove the peat pot.
  • If the plants are too top heavy, plant your plants a little bit below the soil line or as deep as the first set of leaves (Mr. Mayer will confirm). Firm the plants in very well, but take caution not to break the main stem or damage any leaves.
  • None of the peat pot should be visible after planting and watering.
  • Don’t forget to put out your plant tag.

Fertilizing

Starter Solution: Fertilize all your new and established plants with Hasta-Gro starter mix. Instructors will mix 1 oz. of Hasta-Gro with half of the water can, about 1 gallon of water (not full water can). Do not let any of the fertilizer get on the leaves, just on the soil around the plants.

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Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 8, April 20, 2019

Hello all! Another great week at the Children’s Vegetable Garden! We had a ton of chores to do today!

To start things off, we all had a garden and section chore list:

First, we checked to see if we still had broccoli, tomatillos and a few other plants that need to be “dirted-up” to straighten up their plants.

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We spent some time today in and around our plot/section looking for and destroying all cucumber beetles and cabbage loopers on the backside of our broccoli plants by smashing them and or throwing them in a small bucket with soapy water.

Tomato cages were straightened and attached correctly and we cut off any stems/leaves that might be touching the soil.

Without breaking any branches, gently tuck your tomato stems into their cage that have snuck out. If the stems can’t be put back, then start tying them with cut HEB bags to their cage.

Apply one cup of Medina Organic fertilizer on the outskirts of each of the two tomato cages and lightly scratch it in.

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Finish properly caging all your pepper, eggplant and tomatillo transplants. Use the older cages that are in front of S6 and S7.

Finally, we watered by hand any plant that is not receiving adequate irrigation from its system such as the petunias.

 

On to our section chores!!!

 

Section 1 watered the beds down the middle of the garden and the beds near the Sunday House, while Section 2 watered and weeded inside and outside all of the beds between the large mesquite tree and fig tree and pulled few of the Louisiana shallots to share with folks in the garden.

 

 

Section 6  weeded in and around the blackberry beds and underneath the green shade cloth area with benches.

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Section 8 turned on the irrigation in the example plot  as well as the two beds across the section with bluebonnets and poppies

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Check list before we left:

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Please, don’t return any dirty tools or water cans to the tool shed.  It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep that area swept and clean.

Are you completely finished?  Has your instructor or mentor walked your plot and section?

□Is your plot free of weeds, trash and rocks?

□Are all your plants watered?

□Are your tools clean and stored neatly in the tool shed?

□Don’t forget to sign out?

□Please roll up all hoses nice and straight after usage.

 

 

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Homework Assignment:  Have a Blessed Easter!

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 4, March 23rd 2019

Hello all!

Announcement!!: Want to know if Saturday’s session is cancelled? Cancellation notifications will now be posted/updated here on the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Blog!

This past Saturday at the Children’s Garden was another beautiful day. We were blessed with cool weather and sun, even though rain was in the forecast all morning. What a great day!

As soon as the families arrived, we were on to our garden chores. David requested that we make sure that our plots and section walkways were free of any weeds, trash, or rocks.

We also checked our plants for any damaged leaves, insects, and tied up stems and leaves.

We scratched up the soil to a depth of 4 inches inside our plots and the area between your irrigation on/off valve with a four tine cultivator as well as a minimum of six inches away from anything that has been planted. This will help minimize the caking of the soil and help with soil drainage and watering. Remember, we are not tilling or digging deep into the soil. Plots should look nice and leveled with no craters.

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We flagged any fire ant activity throughout the garden and our Section Leaders will treat them at the end of today’s session.

How Do Your Plants Look?

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‘Green Magic’ Broccoli:

  • This is the last day to replace any of your plants.
  • Make sure your plant is nice and straight.
  • Water your plant in real good, but do not get the foliage wet.
  • Fertilize each plant with a quarter-gallon of liquid Hasta Gro fertilizer.
  • Gently drench all your plants leaves with Spinosad. This is an expensive product, so let’s use it wisely.

HM 8849’ and ‘Ruby Crush’ Tomatoes:

  • Does your tomato cage shake a lot? If so, anchor it down correctly.
  • Open up the cloth on your cages and see how your plants are growing.
  • Do any of your plants need to be replaced? If so, this is the last week to do so.
  • Cut off any stems/leaves that might be touching the soil.
  • If your top snapped off any of your plants, cut it off.
  • Is your plant nice and straight? Does it need another anchor stake?
  • Water your plant in real good, but do not get the foliage wet.
  • Fertilize each plant with a half-gallon of liquid Hasta Gro fertilizer.
  • Make sure to properly re-wrap your clothes on their cages nice and tight.

Today’s Plantings!

Petunias

We handled the plants carefully not to disturb the root system and used the irrigation on/off valve located at the front of our plots as a guideline.We do not want to disturb or damage their root system.


Fun fact from Mr. David Rodriguez: Did you know that petunias and tomatoes are in the same family of plants?

Carefully, we pre-soaked the entire 6–pack of petunia transplants in a bucket of water, filled to the lip of their root ball, until all the air bubbles came out.

Next, we scratched up the planting zonses, applied compost and a cup of Espoma granulated organic fertilizer to it.

Two plants were evenly spaced and planted on each side of the irrigation line and about 4 inches away from the top and bottom of the plot.

Plant your petunia plants a little bit above the soil line. DO NOT remove the peat pot. Firm the plants well, but take caution not to breaking any of their runners or damage any leaves.

Looks like these need to be replanted. Since the peat pots were exposed, they are starting to dry out a lot faster. 

The challenge in planting here is the irrigation lines cannot water these plants. We have to keep a good eye on them and water with the water can.

 

Yellow Squash and Zucchini

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Three seeds squash were sown to the right of the tomato plant and  4 zucchini seeds next to the cucumber trellis.

We evenly spaced out the seeds starting from the top to the bottom of the plot. We used bamboo stakes as guide references.


Each seed was gently planted just below the soil surface with its point barely below the soil surface.

*Make sure that these are not planted too deep; the soil is firmed in well on the top and that they are lightly watered in.*

No seeds should be visible after a real light watering and of couse we put out your plant tags.

Next, we applied one full cup of Espoma granulated fertilizer to this allocated planting area and very lightly scratch it in.

Homework Assignment: Study up on purple martins.

This was all our chores we had for the day. What fun 🙂

 

Extra Pics

Just wanted to throw in some additional pics from our research plots and large container bins.

The Maroon Poppies are looking great!

Check out all the swallow tail caterpillars we have on our dill!!

And our Bluebonnets! We didn’t intentionally plant them this season. They keep reseeding every year and look at all the pretty colors they come in!! Have you ever seen a pink Bluebonnet? How about a purple Bluebonnet?

See you for Week 5 post!!!