Mike Kenzie

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since May 27, 2016
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forest garden fungi foraging bike homestead
Gardener, historian, farmer, mycologist.
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Recent posts by Mike Kenzie

@Jan: Thanks for your input on the weight variations in your experience. A lot of these "mattress experts" use the word "petite" without defining the exact weight range they are referring too. I suppose that my partner and I might both be on the "heavier" side of petite. Not sure. Partner claims that she likes a firmer mattress, so we may end up doing a split level. Our next step is to go into mattress stores and test a few out and get a better idea before we spend this kind of dough.

@Mike B: Thanks for that link! The buckwheat hull mattress is DIY and affordable! So affordable in fact that it's definitely worth a test run IMO! I'll run that model by my partner as well. Thanks again.

@Paul: Woah! Totally customizable! I love the looks of this option! Two things might bump it from our list though: 1. supposedly coils (hybrid latex) add more cooling which is very important for our hot climate, and 2. Sleeping Organic recommends the 4-layer latex configuration for petite side-sleepers, which is great advice, but it unfortunately knocks that mattress out of our price range.
Also, on your comment about your wife wanting the extra soft on top: most all of these companies offer an "extra soft" mattress topper that can be added to the top of the mattress. Maybe she could get a smaller topper (eg. twin) and just put it on her side & see how she likes it. This is what I'm thinking about doing for myself as my partner claims that she likes it firmer.

Thanks again everyone! This is all so helpful! :-)
2 weeks ago
After sleeping on our current mattress for several decades, my partner and I are on the research hunt for a new one. Given our body types, permaculturish standards and hot climate where we live, we have come up with a short list of strict characteristics of what we are looking for in our mattress:
The mattress must be made out of natural materials and ideally organic where possible. For example: natural latex (bouncy), wool (naturally flame retardant - firefighter coats used to be made out of wool), organic cotton (covering), etc.
Medium to Medium-soft firmness. Mattress experts tend to recommend these firmness ratings petite body size slide-sleepers - which includes both of us!
As we are in a hot climate, the mattress must be temperature cool. Mattress experts are saying that latex with cools coils (aka: "hybrid" mattresses) are both good cooling characteristics. Some research I've read is claiming that talalay latex is more cooling than dunlop latex.

It’s been a very long time since we’ve looked at mattresses, so if anyone has any permacultural advice for us on this topic, it is greatly welcomed and appreciated.

Note: We are not receiving any kickbacks whatsoever from any of these producers. We simply want to share what we’ve found in our own research to help others who are in the same boat as us.
That said, if you know of any dubious greenwashing from any of these products &/or producers please mention them in this thread as a warning and hopefully as positive pressure on producers to improve their practices.

Given all of the above, we’ve come up with the following list of mattresses that are currently highest on our list and are within our budget; we hope all of our hours of research help someone out who has similar needs:

Eco TerraHybrid Latex Mattress.

Hybrid Latex Mattress: The Luxury Bliss.

Birch Natural Mattress.

Happsy Organic Mattress.

EcoCloud by WinkBeds.

Nest Natural Hybrid Latex.

Other mattresses that we looked at that have high "green" / "eco" standards were the Avocado Mattresses, the Awara Natural Foam Organic Mattress, and the EcoSleep Hybrid by Brooklyn Bedding. While these mattresses may be great for stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and heavier set body types, they are all listed as too firm for our needs.

While we do our best most of the time to engage in the regenerative, permacultural maker, zero-waste paradigm, we are aware that these mattresses listed here fall within the “green / eco-conscious” low-waste paradigm that preceded the current regenerative movement. If you’ve got information on regenerative mattress design and makers, we would also love to have that info included in this thread and will consider them in our next mattress purchase. Looking forward to hearing from folks as this is a big price item that will get a lot of use for a very long time.

Thanks in advance. :-)
2 weeks ago
Thanks Nicole! Those are all wonderful suggestions and epic photographs. Thanks for sharing.
When birthday time comes around I'll definitely be considering adding your Dragons and Fairies to the registry! :-)
2 weeks ago

William Bronson wrote:Picking and eating fresh fruit is the thing my kids would have liked best about permaculture at 1 year of age.
Digging in the dirt would be the next best thing.

Actual objects?
I don't know.
Bug houses or worm farms?
Their own bit of land?

WORM FARM! Love it!

Lovin' the "own bit of land" idea too. If I remember from Mr. Sepp Holzer's book, that's how he became one of the most advanced gardener-farmers on planet earth: his parents gave him his own little plot of land to "play with" at age 4 or 5 and he simply Observed & Interacted (Permaculture Principle Numero Uno) with it all day every day... digging little frog ponds, etc. Nowadays he does the exact same stuff as he did back then, just with heavy machinery! HAHA! WIN!
2 weeks ago

Ralph Sluder wrote:  You could make some strong vinegar with a small hand-full of raisins or whatever... takes less than a month to get some strong stuff.
Keep a 1/2 gallon going at all times and it will probably sterilize any surface very fast.

Yes! Great thinking! Change the pH dramatically! Do you have a favorite vinegar + raisins recipe that you like to use for cleaning?
Thanks in advance.
2 weeks ago

Jamin Grey wrote:

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Or, I just remembered, there are UV light sterilizing lamps available.

I actually got a brand new one of these, unopened, lying around here somewhere. Humana sent me one a few months ago due to the whole COVID panic.

These things are fairly cheap - about $25 online. I have zero idea how effective they are.

@MikeKenzie I would trade you my unused UV wand in exchange for two new species of edible/culinary (non-psychodelic) mushrooms I can grow on logs.

(I'm already growing portobella, winecap, lion's mane, and yellow oysters. I'd like two new ones)

I don't have any preference to the format you send it in (e.g. syringe, log, pegs, mason jar).

Thanks for the offer Jamin. You have a Purple Mooseage in your inbox. :-)
2 weeks ago

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Or, I just remembered, there are UV light sterilizing lamps available. I don't know which brand and style would work best for you, but it might be worth investigating.

Thanks Ellendra, I love the UV light idea! I am trying to sterilize the lab space, so this is a great solution. :-)

And yes, I already do have and use autoclaves and pressure cookers for sterilizing substrate growing media. :-)
2 weeks ago

Steve Harvey wrote:Yes, you will need one of these though. You can't just hook up the wires to the charging clamps.


So as this was the most affordable option I want to try it first. I already went to the local auto parts store and purchased one of these. So now I'm just going to hook the adapter leads to the heating device, then plug the cigarette lighter adapter end into the 12v battery tender port? It's that easy, eh?
And the battery tender should "know" how many watts to send to the heater?
2 weeks ago

Steve Harvey wrote:Just use this, https://www.amazon.ca/ALITOVE-Transformer-Switching-Converter-Security/dp/B07DN7LPRH

Make sure you only use 1 heater per power supply because the dc heater is rated for 7.5 amps., and this psu is rated at 10amps.

Thanks Steve, I like the looks of this device. Is there any issue with using a 120 watt power supply on a 90 watt device? Or is the power supply "smart" enough to give it the right amount of power?
2 weeks ago
So I have successfully been cloning mushrooms and growing mycelium for several years now. However, in my lab I use all sorts of sterilizing products that I'm not too proud of. I've been thinking of ways to sterilize my lab space with less - or even better without - toxic gick. So far I've come up with two solutions - neither of which I have tried yet: 1. Steam sterilization 2. Grain alcohol (rectified spirits [Everclear], vodka, gin, etc).
Thoughts? Has anyone here tried toxin-free lab sterilization? If so, what's worked for you?
Thanks in advance.
3 weeks ago