Mike Kenzie

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since May 27, 2016
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Gardener, historian, farmer, mycologist.
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Recent posts by Mike Kenzie

Compost online class

Monday, April 3rd, 5:30pm - 7pm HST (8:30pm Pacific time) online class with Q-&-A

In this online class you will learn the fundamentals of composting. We will show several examples of easy-to-use composting techniques that you can use in order to organically boost your soil fertility for your garden or farm.

We will talk about composting worm bins, keyhole composting chutes, compost tea, biochar, life in the soil, and more.

Class includes questions-&-answers session with instructor who has been successfully been creating and using compost both on gardens and on farms for many years.

Instructor: has been organic gardening and farming in multiple climate zones for over a decade. He has completed courses in soil chemistry, soil biology, compost, and compost teas. He currently maintains 5 different composting systems for his garden and farm.

5 days ago
Container Pot Planter Gardening Class

Monday, April 10th, 5:30pm - 7pm HST (8:30pm Pacific time) online class with Q-&-A

In this class we will talk about gardening with container pot planters. In particular, we focus on growing vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. We will discuss why container pot plants are a great choice for gardens, we compare them to raised beds, we talk about different types of pots (clay, plastic, concrete), our super-secret NO LONGER A SECRET soil mixture recipe, irrigation techniques, beautification, as well as organic pest and disease control.

The class will feature a questions-and-answer session with the instructor who has years of successful experience growing plants in container pot planters.

5 days ago
Fungi: a Permaculture Perspective

Sunday, April 23rd, 5pm - 7pm HST (8pm Pacific time) online class with Q-&-A

In this online class we will go over the biology, ecology, and history of fungi. In particular, we will focus on their inherently regenerative nature, their evolution through deep time, their function as ecosystemic companions, as well as their relationship with humans across time and throughout the world.

5 days ago
Documenting Mushroom Diversity in the Tropics | Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin

Sunday, May 7th 10am - 11:30am (HST) [1pm Pacific time] online presentation with Q-&-A

Fungi represent one of the more diverse groups of organisms with no fewer than 3.5 millionspecies estimated to occur globally. But less than 300,000 have been formally documented,including only about 20,000 mushroom-forming species. We also know there is a high diversityof mushrooms in tropical habitats that have a great diversity of plant species and that thesehabitats are underexplored by mycologists. Needless to say, much work needs to be done. Mytalk “Documenting Mushroom Diversity in the Tropics” will present data from my field studiesin the Hawaiian Islands, Micronesia, Indo-Malaysia, West Africa and South America. I will focuson how we conduct the field work, what it takes to document taxonomically significant data,how to determine what a species is, understanding taxonomy versus nomenclature, and finally,how to put an accurate name on mushrooms from areas where we know little about mushroomdiversity. I will present several case studies to support the process of and the need to documentmushrooms in the tropics.

Brief Bio – Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin

Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin retired from San Francisco State University after 31 years as Professor in the Department of Biology, and Director and Curator of the H.D. Thiers Herbarium. He was born and raised in Del Norte County, CA, where he developed his love of fungi, collecting mushrooms from the age of three with his immigrant grandparents. He attended San Jose State from 1968–1971 as a math major, then dropped out to play music and build homes in the SF Bay Area. After a ten year hiatus, he returned to college to study mycology with Dr. Harry D. Thiers at San Francisco State, earning a BS in Biology–Botany (1983) and a MA in Ecology and Systematic Biology (1985). He received a PhD in Botany from the University of Tennessee in 1989, then taught at Oberlin College for one year. Dr. Desjardin returned to his alma mater in 1990 to continue Dr. Thiers’ legacy of mycological teaching and research. At SF State, he taught numerous general biology, botany and mycology courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, mentoring 23 Masters and 5 PhD students of which 68% were female and 25% were from under-represented minority groups. His research focuses on the distribution, ecology and evolution of mushroom-forming fungi. Supported by eight National Science Foundation grants, he has conducted field studies in the Hawaiian Islands, Micronesia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, West Africa, Brazil and western USA. He has published over 150 refereed scientific papers, described over 300 new species of mushrooms, and co-authored two popular field guides, Mushrooms of Hawaii and California Mushrooms. Over the past decade he has become recognized as a world’s authority on bioluminescent fungi. Dr. Desjardin was the first recipient of SF State’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Professional Achievement, and he is an elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Mycological Society of America. In “retirement” Dr. Desjardin is now the Chief Mycologist for Sempera Organics, a start-up company that grows functional fungi for nutraceuticals and has launched a new mushroom and mycelium-based meat alternative called Mamu.

5 days ago
NEW DATES! (Hopefully an admin can edit the dates on these courses above)

Course Name:
Mycorestoration: Laboratory to Landscape | More Info & Sign-Up Link Here

March 13th, 2023 | May 8th, 2023 | June 12th, 2023 | July 10th, 2023 | August 14th, 2023

Course Description:
Mycorestoration is the practice of strategically partnering with decomposer (saprophytic) fungi to heal soil and water that has been contaminated with pollutants ranging from E. coli to petroleum. This embodiment of the remediative biotechnology is based on the fungi’s evolved ability to acquire nutrients - they just want snacks! In this course, we will cover the mycorestoration basics, scientific case studies, mycorestoration in the context of the Red Hill crisis on Oʻahu, accessibility and applicability across Hawaiʻi, and DIY experiments.


Also, new dates on our Spawn Course; it's now an intensive: March 20th, 2023 | March 21st, 2023 | March 22nd, 2023 | March 23rd, 2023 | March 24th, 2023
1 month ago
Tropical Fungi Academy is bringing you all new mushroom courses in the coming new year! We've been listening to our community about what you want to learn & we're excited to share with you these four upcoming courses & an apprenticeship.
Each of the following courses includes five online educational class presentations and Q-&-A sessions with teachers.

Do you want to learn how to grow your own edible mushrooms? We have been testing out all sorts of ways to grow mushrooms. We have curated this course to teach you the easiest methods with the best track record of success.
5:30-7pm HST | Tuesdays | Jan 10th, 2023 | Feb 14th, 2023 | Mar 14th, 2023 | May 9th, 2023 | Jun 13th, 2023
Early Bird Special: $199 (code: fullcourse)
Learn More & Get Tickets Here

So you found a mushroom? Great! Can you eat it?! This course will teach you the simple tools you will need to positively identify mushrooms found growing wild around you.
5:30-7pm HST | Wednesdays | Jan 11th, 2023 | Feb 15th, 2023 | Mar 15th, 2023 | May 10th, 2023 | Jun 14th, 2023
Early Bird Special: $199 (code: fullcourse)
Learn More & Get Tickets Here

This course will teach you how to take the microscopic & turn it into food. From foraged mushroom to spawn, we teach you how to grow mushroom mycelium!
5:30-7pm HST | Fridays | Jan 13th, 2023 | Feb 17th, 2023 | Mar 17th, 2023 | May 12th, 2023 | Jun 16th, 2023
Early Bird Special: $199 (code: fullcourse)
Learn More & Get Tickets Here

Mycorestoration is the practice of partnering with fungi to heal soil & water that has been contaminated with pollutants. We will cover the basics, scientific case studies, accessibility & applicability, as well as DIY experiments.
5:30-7pm HST | Mondays | Jan 9th, 2023 | Feb 13th, 2023 | Mar 13th, 2023 | May 8th, 2023 | Jun 12th, 2023
Early Bird Special: $199 (code: fullcourse)
Learn More & Get Tickets Here

Note: all courses will be recorded, so if you happen to miss any one of the classes do not worry. We will make recordings available to you.

All the above courses are currently discounted at an early bird special price for a limited time.

Use the discount code fullcourse when getting ticket to any of the above courses to get the sale price of $199 (regular price $225).

Mushroom Education FOR ALL
No one turned away for lack of funds. Contact us for sliding-scale pricing, work-trade opportunities, barter, & scholarships.

Our Latest Mushroom Educational Offerings Here.

Thank you.  :-)
3 months ago

Thekla McDaniels wrote: I thought lignins were present in all wood, and more in the hardwoods than soft woods.

Am I confused?

Did I miss some thing?  

Why do lignin metabolizes get mentioned here as if only some woods had them?

Good question. Perhaps if Tomás' link worked we could see why he is/was so excited about the performance of that particular fungal species mentioned in the link and how it could possibly benefit those wanting to grow oyster mushrooms...
5 months ago

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Hola, Tomas

I tried the link and got nothing 🙁.  What is the name of the species that is so good at breaking down lignin?  Thanks

I have several acres of ponderosa pine, lots of needles under the tree, and had 20 cut down that were too near the house.  I would love to get fungal action of all kinds

Fungal species considered to be "white rot fungi" are the ones in particular that target lignin. Turkey tails (Trametes versicolor) are white rot fungi and are particularly good at this. They are also an easy cultivar for beginners.

And yes, as John mentioned, the Phoenix Oyster (Pleurotus pulmonarius) is often listed in most all cultivation literature as being able to fruit on dead conifer wood. Oyster mushrooms are also a great place to start for beginning cultivators. To be precise, there are many "oyster mushrooms" in the genus Pleurotus and yet only plumonarius is listed in the literature as enzymatically adapted to grow & fruit on dead conifer wood. However, I just this past month found an Abalone Oyster (Pleurotus cystidiosus) growing on a Columnar Pine (Araucaria columnaris) snag. While Columnar Pine is a conifer, it is not in the genus Pinus, FWIW.
5 months ago

Anne Miller wrote:

Mike said, "Another way to tell the difference between these two genera is that Pezizas are brittle & crack & break when you try to bend them, while wood ears in the genus Auricularia bend without breaking & feel ...well... kind of like an ear when you grab hold of them.

Do you know what genera these are in? Just curious?

From the photos (cup facing towards the sky) & the description given (growing from soil & brittle) I am strongly leaning towards the genus Peziza.
10 months ago
Not sure about oysters on gorse, though they do have the reputation of eating eat nearly any type of wood. The oyster species Pleurotus pulmonarius will even eat conifer wood. I have seen wood ears growing on chipped gorse mulch on a friend's farm. Might be a fun one to try! :-)
10 months ago