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

From Ashes to Renewal: Healing Together

I have some updates after having gone silent while I have been busy this past month helping with the human-related fire relief efforts here on Maui. My friends and I have been focusing on that first as people's needs have been immediately pressing. In recent days however, a group of folks here on Maui have begun shifting focus towards mitigating the next on-coming stage of this fire disaster: the next major rain event that threatens to wash toxic ash from structure fire burn scars onto the reefs. Dangerous chemicals from burnt plastics, pesticides, cleaners, batteries, paints & more threaten to pollute the soil, groundwater & ocean reefs for generations to come when the big seasonal rains return...

Burnt tarp on Maui, August 2023

Luckily, nature provides a whole host of ways to successfully mitigate the negative effects of this chemical runoff farther into the environment. We call this suite of natural mitigation methods "bioremediation". Our group has formed a grassroots, Maui-based coalition in order to address this pending disaster by partnering with native plants, fungi, & healthy soil to help heal the burn scars so that the soil will one-day be safer to plant into, the water will one-day be safer to drink, & the life in the ocean will be shielded from toxic runoff.

Maui Bioremediation Group

The main objective of the Maui Bioremediation Group is to ally with carefully selected geographically-&-culturally appropriate plants, native fungi, & locally-made compost in order to mitigate the negative effects of toxic ash left by the recent fires here on Maui. Supervised by Maui community leaders, we are a group of passionate experts who partner with life to restore life using evidence-based bioremediation techniques. Our core members are Maui residents who work with collaborators throughout Pae ʻĀina o Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian archipelago) & beyond. Our non-profit umbrella organization for this project is the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council & we prioritize collaboration with our local community in an effort to center & respect traditional land stewardship practices.

The fungal aspect of the project is called "mycoremediation". "Myco" meaning fungi...

Fungal-Infused Myco-Filter Sock installation on-contour downhill of toxic structure fire burn site will help filter & break down toxic compounds.
Photo by Maya Elson of CoRenewal

Please help us to fund these critical bioremediation efforts before the next big rain event...

DONATE to this Bioremediation Project Here: https://www.mauireefs.org/mauibiorem-lahaina/


Educational Mycoremediation Experiment Program

Inspired by Maui Bioremediation Group’s larger work, some members of the group have launched a program to teach students the methods of partnering with native fungi to clean up toxic waste left over after a fire. As these fires are becoming more-&-more common in recent years, it is extremely important to partner with future generations in the cleanup efforts in order to teach them what we’ve learned from our own cleanup efforts as well as to learn from their equally-important ideas & insight on how such cleanup can be done.

Please support our fundraiser to teach students on Maui about mycoremediation...

DONATE to this Educational Project: https://experiment.com/myco-filter
5 months ago

Kathy Gray wrote:

Mike Kenzie wrote:Interesting. I wasn't aware that folks eat Clavaria. What does it taste like?
I have heard of folks eating White Coral Fungus (Clavulina cristata) as well as Meadow Coral Fungus (Clavulinopsis corniculata).

I didn’t eat it, I just studied it:)

I see. Do you have a citation that it is edible from a reputable source?

Personally, I am cautious with coral fungi as some are deadly poisonous. For example: Poison Fire Coral (Podostroma cornu-damae).
6 months ago

Trace Oswald wrote:I build "outdated" laptops for people often.  Most people use their laptop for email and we surfing, maybe looking at pictures from a thumb drive or working on a few documents.  There are stripped down Linux versions that work beautifully on old laptops that wouldn't even begin to run Windows.  I just built a great web surfing and email machine for a guy on a laptop that has 2 Gb of RAM.  It runs great.

I do the same for my friends and family. Also, all my computers that I use are from the local e-recycle folks, "ancient" machines running lightweight Linux. Here is a great list of light-weight Linux distributions that can run on "old" machines.
7 months ago
Interesting. I wasn't aware that folks eat Clavaria. What does it taste like?
I have heard of folks eating White Coral Fungus (Clavulina cristata) as well as Meadow Coral Fungus (Clavulinopsis corniculata).
7 months ago
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.

11 months 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.

11 months ago
Fungi: a Permaculture Perspective

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.

11 months 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.

11 months 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 year 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.  :-)
1 year ago