As a forager, Mike has worked with high end restaurants and gin distilleries finding unusual plant products for a variety of different purposes.
During this time he realized that there is room to expand and develop on New Zealand’s native spice range and other native plant products and likes to advocate for profit restoration planting.
Mike likes to use ice cream as a tool to showcase his spices which help people understand and connect to the plants in a fun and approachable way.
Mike holds regular foraging tours at the Wellington Botanical Gardens including botanical ice cream tastings.
Currently works at Otaki College running a funded project to renovate and run the impressive College Horticultural Gardens, called Aho Aho.
Mike works in a one-on-one mentoring program with students in the garden. Together they grow and sell weekly veggie boxes to the teachers using regenerative agricultural techniques.
Every Tuesday is ice cream making day at the college and together students and Mike experiment making unusual ice creams using at least one ingredient from the garden, letting all the students taste the creations at lunch time
Mike spent 10 years living in Germany with his wife where he became fluent in German and qualified in Arboriculture and Landscape Gardening, now with over 15 years practical experience in the trade.
Mike also has experience growing Shitake and Oyster Mushrooms on a commercial scale, selling them at markets and to restaurants.