Author Archives: tedmanzer

About tedmanzer

I grew up in Old Town Maine and got a B.S. at the University of Maine in Plant Sciences/ minor in Botany. From there I moved to West Virginia and earned a M.S. in Agronomy at WVU. I also met my wife there. She grew up in rural WV as the daughter of tenant farmers who raised cattle and hogs. Their lifestyle at times was one of subsistence and I learned a lot from them. I've always been a foraging buff, but combining my formal botanical knowledge with their practical 'Foxfire-type' background opened up my eyes a little more. I now teach agriculture to high school students at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City, NC. My wife teaches with me and we make a great team. I also write a weekly nature/foraging column for the local paper (dailyadvance.com) and frequently publish articles in several other newspapers in northeastern North Carolina. I also have written several Christian nature/adventure novels that I plan to publish eventually. One is a five book family saga I call the 'Forgotten Virtues' series. In the first book, Never Alone, a young boy comes of age after his father dies in a plane crash, and he has to make it alone. Never Alone is now available in paperback, Kindle and Nook. The second book, Strange Courage, takes Carl from his High School graduation to his recovery from a nasty divorce. The third book, Second Chances, takes Carl from his ex-wife's death and the custody of his son to his heroic death at age 59. The fourth book, Promises Kept, depicts how his grandchildren react and adjust to his death. In the final book, Grandfather's Way, his youngest and most timid granddaughter emerges from the shadow of her overachieving family and accomplishes more in four months than most do in a lifetime. I use many foraging references with a lot of the plants I profile in these articles in those books.

Hummingbirds can be lured to shady places


Last week I profiled some sun loving plants that attract hummingbirds. This week I’ll discuss my favorite shade dwellers that hummingbirds adore. There aren’t as many, since producing flowers requires energy. There’s less sunlight, so usually that means less spectacular … Continue reading

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Hummingbird attractants for sunny places


People often ask me which plant attracts hummingbirds best. That certainly depends. Sun vs shade is usually my first response. Annual or perennial is the next. For this piece I’ll concentrate on sun loving plants. My favorite sun loving annuals … Continue reading

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New versions of Never Alone are now available


The eBook version of Never Alone can now be obtained by Kindle and Nook enthusiasts. In the Elizabeth City area it can also be purchased in the gift shop at the Museum of the Albemarle. Please let people know they … Continue reading

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Life experiences become an important component of education


We are nearing the end of another school year. One thing teachers always try to do is reflect back upon what worked and what didn’t work. If something wasn’t successful, we always ask ourselves why it wasn’t. How could we … Continue reading

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Short or tall, Zinnias dazzle in the garden and the vase


I can’t think of an easier flower to grow than zinnia. When I was a kid we always had the old fashioned tall growing types. I think my mom still has some pictures of my sister and I standing next … Continue reading

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Hard copies of Never Alone are now available on Amazon.com.


The book has not been fully released yet. Electronic versions are not yet available and it’s not up on the Barnes and Noble site as of today. I figure within another month all versions will be available. Well, it’s been … Continue reading

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Bald cypress has far more uses than swampland conservation


Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a great swamp conservation plant. It helps filter sediment so they don’t enter our waterways. Floodwater slows down, causing sediment to settle and not enter the rivers. This majestic tree is one of relatively few … Continue reading

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