Showing posts with label Permaculture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Permaculture. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

British Government and Botswana Environmental Disaster

The direction from the British Government to convert cattle, land and water from permanent community assets into disposable man made, and that it has reached a point where in many places it cannot be reversed, and role in their decisions about production and consumption" 
And all was for selling more beef to UK that do not need beef and use it for cats and dogs.

Enslaving foreign nations in debt make them pay  with food for money they did not need to borrow in the first place.

Fencing the land of Botswana to prevent migration of so the wild life cannot migrate .
the first year they closed the fence 60-70000 wild life zebras and gazels died. They are not jumpers. They died . for few days the lions eat them and them hungry lions eat peoples.

Lions eat bushman peoples. This guy that is sitting in England and took a decision to place fences so the migration of wild animals be stopped and the cattle production increased killed thousands of people in Center Kalahari.
The fences are still there now.
England takes a quarter million castles every year from Botswana while kids are dying of hunger in that country. That is what the imperialism is doing to the world and people.

Some students in England make studies and based on these studies decisions are make on the other corner of the globe.

And those that do learn from the mistakes repeat them.
Under the same imperialistic politics the Canadian Government is killing wild horses as if they do not have the same  right to life as people do. And this is done in the name of protecting the cattle grass so more cattle to be slaughter and sold.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Food Forests in Temperate Areas

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 216-365

Have you planted a tree this year? If not why not?
If you decide to plant a tree why not plant one that is useful. There are medicinal tree, fruit trees or a legume

What is a food forest?

Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food .

Fruit and nut trees, berries and herbs and wild plants all blended together in a productive and sustainable way."

A Food Forest is built to emulate a real forest — only we fill it with the food plants and trees that we want.
Real forests don’t need any work, they self-maintain — no pesticides, herbicides, weeding, crop rotation, mowing or digging. Food forests don’t need any of this either! Less work, more food, all natural! Why would you do anything else?


By understanding how forests grow and sustain themselves without human intervention, we can learn from Nature, copy the systems and patterns to model our own forests — ones filled with trees and plants that produce food we can eat. We can design and construct the most sustainable food production systems possible; perfected, refined and cared for by Mother Nature herself.
Forests exist fine on their own. There’s no mowing, weeding, spraying, or digging required. No pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides or nasty chemicals. 

Food Forests not Orchards

  • Rows of trees are not food forests. They are instead what is described as an orchard.
  • Rows of trees with some other plant underneath are not food forests,  they are orchards with under-plantings.
  • Rows of trees with rows of other plants alternating between them are not  food forests, they are orchards employing intercropping.

7 Layers of a Temperate Forest Garden

The 7 layer classification system was developed by Robert Hart from Prehistoric tropical garden methods in the 60s for more temperate climates. It provides a structure similar to that of a real forest that can be adapted from a large scale farm to that of a modest backyard. The architecture of a successful food forest considers not only light requirements of the plants, but water, shelter, root depths and other companion planting principles.

1. Canopy Layer

9m+ high nut, fruit and nitrogen fixing trees (Only larger FFGs)

2. Low-tree Layer

4m high, Dwarf Fruit / Nut Trees
Nitrogen Fixers & smaller trees
Shade tolerant trees
Pruned into open form for light

Almond dwarf
Apple Dwarf

3. Shrub Layer

Woody perennial plants
Flowering, fruiting, wildlife attracting

Cape Gooseberry
Curry Plant

4. Herbacious Layer

Perennial vegetables
Self seeding annuals
Bee & poultry forage
Mulch & soil builders, cover crops

Broad bean

5. Groundcover Layer

Less than 30cm high
Low, prostrate, creeping plants
Forms a living mulch – retain, suppress weed growth

Alpine Strawberries
Sweet Alyssum
Basil Thyme
Black Cumin
Prostrate Rosemary
Roman Chamomile

6. Rhizosphere (Root) Layer

Edible roots & tubers
Shallow rooted, easy to dig
Longer rooted left to flower for beneficial insects


7. Vertical Layer

Climbers, creepers, vines
Twine around trunks or up fences, trellises, etc.
Habitat and food
Only in established Forest Garden, can strangle young trees

Honeydew Melon
Honeysuckle (Blue-berried)
Kiwi Berry / Hardy Kiwifruit
Kiwi fruit
Malabar Spinach



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Edible Forest Garden - Temperate Climate Permaculture Forest

By Liliana Uvat
Blog 204-365

Edible Forest Gardening

Edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting plants together in woodlandlike patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts. You can grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics natural ecosystems. You can create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield garden.

If designed with care and deep understanding of ecosystem function, you can also design a garden that is largely self-maintaining.


Traditional agriculture involves 10% planning and 90% work.  Permaculture involves 90% planning with intelligent design and 10% work to implement the design and then much less work in maintanence.


Permaculture is theory of design which uses biological and ecological systems as models to create permanent and sustainable agricultural systems.

Permaculture  is Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.’ People, their buildings and the ways in which they organise themselves are central to permaculture. Thus the permaculture vision of permanent or sustainable agriculture has evolved to one of permanent or sustainable culture.


The word permaculture was coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid-1970’s to describe an integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.

Plants are categorized by their place in the Forest Garden

Tall Trees Layer

Typically over 30 feet (~9 meters) high. This layer is for larger Forest Gardens. Timber trees, large nut trees, and nitrogen-fixing trees are the typical trees in this category. There are a number of larger fruiting trees that can be used here as well depending on the species, varieties, and root  stocks used.
  • Alder (Alnus species)
  • Apple (Malus domestica or pumila)

  • Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina)
  • Cherry, Sweet (Prunus avium)

  • Cherry, Tart (Sour) (Prunus cerasus)
  • Chestnut (Castanea species)
  • Lime, Linden, & Basswood (Tilia species)
  • Hazelnuts or Filberts (Corylus species)
  • Juniper (Juniperus species)
  • Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana)
  • Mulberry (Morus species: M. nigra, M. rubra, M. alba)
  • Oak (Quercus species)
  • Pears, Asian (Pyrus species)
  • Pecans and Hickories (Carya species)
  • Persimmon (Diospyros species: D. kaki, D. lotus, D. virginiana)
  • Walnut (Juglans nigra and Juglans regia)
  • Walnut - Other species (J. cinerea, J. ailantifolia var. cordiformi, J. x bixbyi)
Tall Shrubs

Typically 10-30 feet (3-9 meters) high. In most Forest Gardens, or at least those with limited space, these plants often make up the acting Canopy layer. The majority of fruit trees fall into this layer.
  • Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus species)
  • Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus or jujuba)
  • Medlar (Mespilus germanica)
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Pears, Asian (Pyrus species)
  • Plum (Prunus subgenus Prunus species)

  • Quince (Cydonia oblonga)
  • Sumac (Rhus species)
 Shrub Layer

Typically up to 10 feet (3 meters) high. The majority of fruiting bushes fall into this layer. Includes many nut, flowering, medicinal, and other beneficial plants as well.
  • Aronia or Chokeberry (Aronia species)
  • Blueberries (Vaccinium species)
  • Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea species)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus species)
  • Goji Berry (Wolfberry) (Lycium barbarum, Lycium chinense)
  • Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa)
  • Goumi (Elaeagnus multiflora)
  • Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)
  • Roses - An Introduction to Rose Types (Rosa species)
  • Roses - Rosa rugosa (Rosa rugosa)

  • Salal or Shallon (Gaultheria shallon)
  • Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia)
  • Sea-Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
 Herbaceous Layer

Plants in this layer die back to the ground every winter... if winters are cold enough, that is. They do not produce woody stems as the Shrub layer does. Many cullinary and medicinal herbs are in this layer. A large variety of other beneficial plants fall into this layer.
  • Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum asperum)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)
  • Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
  • Horseradish (Amoracia rusticana)

  • Lupine (Lupinus species)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Plantain (Plantago species)
  • Ramps (Allium tricoccum)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum species)
  • Sorrel (Rumex species)
  • Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • Yarrow (Achillea species)
Climber Layer

These vining and climbing plants span multiple layers depending on how they are trained or what they climb all on their own. They are a great way to add more productivity to a small space, but be warned. Trying to pick grapes that have climbed up a 60 foot Walnut Tree can be interesting to say the least.
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Kiwi - Tropical and Hardy (Actinidia deliciosa, A. arguta, A. kolomikta)

  • Malabar Spinach (Basella alba, Basella rubra)
  • Maypop (Passiflora incarnata)

  • Wisteria (Wisteria species)
Ground Cover Layer

There is some overlap with the Herbaceous layer and the Ground Cover layer; however plant in this layer are often shade tolerant, grow much closer to the ground, grow densely to fill bare patches of soil, and often can tolerate some foot traffic.
  • Aronia or Chokeberry (Aronia species)
  • Creeping Blueberry (Vaccinium crassifolim)
  • Groundcover Raspberry (Rubus nepalensis, R. pentalobus, R. tricolor)
  • Juniper (Juniperus species)
  • Lupine (Lupinus species)
  • Mint (Mentha species)

  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum species)
  • Salal or Shallon (Gaultheria shallon)
  • Sorrel (Rumex species)
  • Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • Wild Angelica (Angelica silvestris)
  • Yarrow (Achillea species)
 Underground Layer

These are root crops. There are an amazing variety of edible roots that most people have never heard of, but I hope to introduce them to you here.
  • Groundnut (Apios americana 
  • Skirret (Sium sisarum)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Low water Trees - Acacia farnesiana or Sweet Acacia Medicinal Uses

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 155-365

There is a science that is able to transform deserts in Forest Foods. The name of this science is Permaculture.
Here is a video that show the process. It is an amazing video that I recommend it.

For now we take one plant at a time and focus on it to promote it to be planted in arid areas.

Acacia farnesiana or Sweet Acacia

This tall, semievergreen, native shrub or small tree has feathery, finely divided leaflets of a soft, medium green color. The slightly rough stems are a rich chocolate brown or grey, possessing long, sharp, multiple thorns. The small, yellow, puff-like flowers are very fragrant and appear in clusters in late winter then sporadically after each new flush of growth, providing nearly year-round bloom. The persistent fruits have a glossy coat and contain seeds which are cherished by birds and other wildlife.

Use and Management

It can be trained into a tree for use in median strips, or can be used as a street tree where there is not a need for tall-vehicle clearance beneath the crown. The small stature and low, spreading branching habit makes pruning for vehicular clearance difficult unless it is properly trained from an early age. But the required input of manhours for early training may be offset by the high drought, pest and insect resistance of the tree. Do not locate the tree too close to where people can be injured by the sharp thorns on the branches.

Although easy to grow in any acid or alkaline soil, including clay, the leaves will drop if the soil is allowed to dry out. This drought avoidance mechanism allows the plant to grow well with no irrigation once established.

Growing best in full sun, this thorny, well-branched shrub makes an excellent barrier planting or nesting cover for wildlife. When trained as a small tree and used as a freestanding specimen, it is likely to provide a source for comments, such as "what's that?".

 But its growth rate is extremely slow, making it unpopular in the nursery trade but popular with those who care for it in the landscape. Sweet Acacia has its place in any sunny shrub border or as an accent plant in any garden if located away from areas where children frequent, since the thorns can inflict severe pain. It is well suited for dry climates with little rainfall.
Propagation of Sweet Acacia is by seeds or cuttings.


It will continue to bloom throughout the year, though more sparsely. It produces leguminous fruit encased in woody pods. The seeds are attractive to birds and other wildlife.

Traditional medicine

  • The bark and the flowers are the parts of the tree most used in traditional medicine. V. farnesiana has been used in Colombia to treat malaria
  • Colombians bathe in the bark decoction as a treatment for typhoid
  • The extract from the tree bark and leaves has shown some efficacy against the malarial pathogen Plasmodium falciparum in animal models . 
  • Indigenous Australians have used the roots and bark of the tree to treat diarrhea and diseases of the skin. 
  • The tree's leaves can also be rubbed on the skin to treat skin diseases.
  • The flowers are added to ointment, which is rubbed on the forehead to treat headaches
  • The powdered dried leaves have been applied externally as a treatment for wounds
  • The green pods have been decocted and used in the treatment of dysentery and inflammations of the skin and raucous membrane
  • The juice of the bark is used in Nepal to treat swellings
  • An infusion of the pod has been used in the treatment of sore throats, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, conjunctivitis, and uterorrhagia


The leaves are used as a tamarind flavoring for chutneys and the pods are roasted to be used in sweet and sour dishes

The common name, huisache, is Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs) meaning many thorns. The fragrant flowers have been used in the perfume industry. This acacia will drop its leaves under severe drought conditions as a defense mechanism.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Legume Trees Fix the Soil

By Liliana Usvat

Question: what can be done to reverse the loss of the soil on large area due to deforestation and desertification?

Nitrogen-Fixing Trees Help Tropical Forests Make a Comeback

Some species of trees can restore lost nutrients in deforested areas, helping other trees to grow.

Denuded forests were efficiently restored in a few years, mostly with the help of leguminous plants that fix atmospheric nitrogen and pump it into the soil.

Nitrogen-fixing trees helped secure a large amount of carbon in just 12 years. In just about a decade, the new forests had accumulated 40 percent of carbon found in old, mature tropical forests. Legume trees contributed to nearly half of the carbon "sink.

Trees turn nitrogen fixation on and off according to the need for nitrogen in the system.

Legume trees accumulated carbon nine times faster than non nitrogen-fixers during the early stages of forests' comeback. These trees even provided enough nitrogen for other trees to grow. The legume trees' secret lies in their relationship with a kind of bacteria known as rhizobia, which help the trees fix nitrogen. Tropical forest soil is often low in nitrogen.

Leguminous trees are essential for a forests' recovery and so their loss could lead to long-term problems for many species of trees, researchers said.
"Diversity really matters. Each tree species fixes nitrogen and carbon differently so species important at 12 years drop out or become less common at 30 years.

Pods of carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

Pods of carob (Ceratonia siliqua), an ancient Mediterranean crop. Great livestock fodder and edible for humans as well. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
These trees are providing more than just food for animals. Livestock enjoy the shade they provide, especially in the tropical sun. Many of these trees fix nitrogen. Some even have pods edible for humans.

 The pods of Acacia nilotica

The pods of Acacia nilotica, from African semi-arid savannahs. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Cassia grandis


Cassia grandis, from the humid tropical Americas. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 

The North American honey locust (Gleditia triacanthos)


The North American honey locust (Gleditia triacanthos), a good choice for cold temperate climates. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The sweet pods of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

The sweet pods of honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), a North America nitrogen-fixing tree for cold, arid landscapes. There are mesquites throughout the dry Americas as well as native species from Africa and Asia, for highlands and lowlands, arid and semi-arid climates. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Locust Tree

Locust trees transformed the ecosystem by adding nutrients. The soil analysis revealed that locust trees increased soil organic matter and nutrients, nearly doubling local nitrogen levels. 

Leguminous Tree Kowhai

Flowers of the leguminous tree, Kowhai, the national flower of New Zealand

Nitrogen Fixing Trees for Permaculture

Nitrogen fixation is a pattern of nutrient cycling which has successfully been used in perennial agriculture for millennia.  importance in agriculture.

Three legumes (nitrogen fixing trees, hereafter called NFTs) are especially valuable in subtropical and tropical permaculture. They can be integrated in a permaculture system to restore nutrient cycling and fertility self-reliance.

On unvegetated sites, "pioneer" plants (plants which grow and thrive in harsh, low-fertility conditions) begin the cycling of nutrients by mining and accumulating available nutrients. As more nutrients enter the biological system and vegetative cover is established, conditions for other non-pioneering species become favourable. Pioneers like NFTs tend to benefit other forms of life by boosting fertility and moderating harsh conditions.

Nitrogen fixing trees are often deep rooted, which allows them to gain access to nutrients in subsoil layers. Their constant leaf drop nourishes soil life, which in turn can support more plant life.

The extensive root system stabilises soil, while constantly growing and atrophying, adding organic matter to the soil while creating channels for aeration.

There are many species of NFTs that can also provide numerous useful products and functions, including food, wind protection, shade, animal fodder, fuel wood, living fence, and timber, in addition to providing nitrogen to the system.

Nitrogen: From the Air to the Plants
Nitrogen is often referred to as a primary limiting nutrient in plant growth. Simply put, when nitrogen is not available plants stop growing. Although lack of nitrogen is often viewed as a problem, nature has an immense reserve of nitrogen everywhere plants grow – in the air.

Air consists of approximately 80% nitrogen gas (N2), representing about 6400kg of N2 above every hectare of land. However, N2 is a stable gas, normally unavailable to plants. Nitrogen fixation, a process by which certain plants "fix" or gather atmospheric N2 and make it biologically available is an underlying pattern in natur.

How to Use NFTs in a System

In the tropics, most of the available nutrients (over 75%) are not in the soil but in the organic matter. In subtropical and tropical forests, nutrients are constantly cycling through the ecosystem.

Aside from enhancing overall fertility by accumulating nitrogen and other nutrients, NFTs establish readily, grow rapidly, and regrow easily from pruning.

They are perfectly suited to jump-start organic matter production on a site, creating an abundant source of nutrient-rich mulch for other plants. Many fast-growing NFTs can be cut back regularly over several years for mulch production.

From Desert to Oasis in 4 Years (Jordan)

Geoff Lawton’s  video in his ever-expanding lineup takes you to Wadi Rum in Jordan where he consulted on a 10 acre organic farm and rebuilt their failing farm into a commercial success.

Wadi Rum looks very much like your classic inhospitable desert region. It was used in the early 1960s as the backdrop set for the David Lean’s masterpiece, “Lawrence of Arabia.”

If you’ve ever watched the movie as Geoff had, you’ll be greeted with a sense of déjà Vu. The place looks familiar and intimidating. Geoff says it still has access to water in the dry Wadi canyons and aquifers.

Geoff Lawton takes you to Wadi Rum in Jordan and shows you how he transformed 10 acres of hostile desert into an abundant oasis, now producing food as a successful organic farm located in the Middle East.
Geoff reveals his design process and explains the steps needed to create a paradise on earth.  
“If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.” he says.

Geoff Lawton reveals his little known secrets of soil fertility capture using a succession of plants and succulents.

See the amazing results in this 13 minute video. Don’t miss it!

Blog 135 -365

Friday, January 31, 2014

Green Belt of the Cities

By Liliana Usvat

A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas.

Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an urban area instead of around it. In essence, a green belt is an invisible line designating a border around a certain area, preventing development of the area and allowing wildlife to return and be established.

Greenbelt and Permaculture
Edible Landscapes ~ Forests and Watersheds

The increase of urban tree canopy in Greenbelt West (USA) will help to reduce stormwater runoff into Indian Creek near Springhill Lake Recreation Center and mitigate the urban heat island effect. The GFF will also provide nutrients for humans and wildlife, and become self-fertilizing and extend the landscape into more trees and shrubs.

The City of Greenbelt (University of Maryland USA), was founded on the concepts of community design and “green” planning, in which every acre is put to its best and most sustainable use. Permaculture and other best land management practices are now being formally established throughout the city, and Forest Gardening is a major focus.

The Greenbelt Food Forest (GFF) brings together Greenbelt neighbors, community organizations, and public agencies to benefit our area. The focus is on working together to improve water quality in our local watershed and throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.

Detroit USA

Detroit was once one of the wealthiest and most famous cities in the world.  The city has fallen on hard times in recent years, but–thanks to the new urban gardening movement that’s sprouting up in the city–people’s eyes are once again turning towards the Motor City.

The population of Detroit has dropped from a high point of 1.9 million 60 years ago to just over 700,000. With so much land left vacant as result, the city has been given an opportunity reinvent itself. “We estimate that there are between 1500 and 2000 gardens in the city of Detroit,”

Urban farms reduce carbon emissions by cutting down on the number of miles food must travel to make it to a grocery store and, therefore, reducing fuel consumption in the shipping process. Many of the farms in Detroit use organic practices or incorporate the principles of permaculture, a type of sustainable design that is based on mimicking natural processes.

Songdo, South Korea Aims to be World’s Greenest City

Five years ago, Songdo was just an area of undeveloped mudflats. Now, it is a pioneer in the development of “smart cities.” “We envision Songdo to grow into a global Asian city like Hong Kong or Singapore,” said a representative of the Incheon Free Economic Zone, where Songdo is located.

The buildings are planned around a 100-acre central park, and green space accounts for over 40% of the area of the city. The city is so walkable, that cars are entirely unnecessary. Most commutes simply involve walking across the park from an apartment building to a nearby office space.
Of the many futuristic elements of Songdo,the city has a pneumatic trash shoot that funnels garbage to a central waste processing center.

Once there, food waste is put to use for agricultural purposes while much of the rest of the trash is recycled. Water is also cleverly managed by a central utility that recycles 40% of the wastewater.


The Old Testament outlines a proposal for a green belt around the Levite towns in the Land of Israel Moses Maimonides expounded that the greenbelt plan from the Old Testament referred to all towns in ancient Israel.

In the 7th century, Muhammad established a green belt around Medina. He did this by prohibiting any further removal of trees in a 12-mile long strip around the city.

In 1580 Elizabeth I of England banned new building in a 3-mile wide belt around the City of London in an attempt to stop the spread of plague. However, it was possible to buy dispensations which reduced the effectiveness of the proclamation.

In modern times, green belt policy was pioneered in the United Kingdom in the 1930s after pressure from the CPRE and various other organizations.

There are fourteen green belt areas, in the UK covering 16,716 km², or 13% of England, and 164 km² of Scotland; for a detailed discussion of these, see Green belt (UK). Other notable examples are the Ottawa Greenbelt and Golden Horseshoe Greenbeltin Ontario, Canada. Ottawa's 20,350 hectare greenbelt is managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC).

The more general term in the U.S. is green space or greenspace, which may be a very small area such as a park.

The concept of "green belt" has evolved in recent years to encompass not only "Greenspace" but also "Greenstructure", taking into account all urban greenspaces, an important aspect of sustainable development in the 21st century. The European Commission's COST Action C11 (COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is undertaking "Case studies in Greenstructure Planning" involving 15 European countries.

An act of the Swedish parliament from 1994 has declared a series of parks in Stockholm and the adjacent municipality of Solna to its north a "national city park" called Ekoparken (the "Eco park"; it stretches from the parks surrounding the royal palaces of Ulriksdal and Haga in Solna, through the Brunnsviken area, down to the former royal hunting grounds of North and South Djurgården).

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