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). 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.

Homemade sauerkraut is hard to beat


Local cabbage fields are nearing harvest or have already been cut. Many would have been harvested sooner  if fields hadn’t been so wet. I always look forward to fresh cabbage. It’s so versatile. One of my favorite cabbage dishes is … Continue reading

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We should encourage native pollinators and native plant species


The European honey bee is perhaps agriculture’s most important pollinator. Its greatest importance is that we derive honey from it. Honey production is a multibillion dollar industry. There are no native honey bees. The varroa mite nearly wiped out honey … Continue reading

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Pollination and pollinators are important for our environment


I’d say most people have little regard for pollinators at all. They might even think the world would be better if all these critters went extinct. Bees, wasps, beetles and the like are usually not among your average person’s list … Continue reading

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Cattail pollen is a fleeting delicacy


A few years back I wrote a column about the survival uses of cattails (Typha latifolia). There are many. This time I want to focus only on cattail pollen. It has been shedding now for over a week and if … Continue reading

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Deer like flowers too


Last week I wrote about selecting trees and shrubs to minimize deer damage. This week I’ll concentrate on flowers, both annual and perennial. Deer will tear up many annual flowers. Some of their favorites are impatiens, sweet potato vine and … Continue reading

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Selecting deer resistant trees and shrubs


People ask me about this all the time. I wish I had a fool proof answer. The problem is that many factors can influence whether deer will eat shrubbery or not. White tailed deer, (Odocoileus virginianus), are beautiful and graceful, … Continue reading

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Clary Sage is an important crop in northeast North Carolina


Most folks have seen it from their vehicles.  Few likely know what it is or why it’s grown. Some might say that the flowers look like those of salvia. They’d be right. The plant in question is clary sage (Salvia … Continue reading

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