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.

Optimists hope frigid winter temperatures might quell bugs


Whenever we have a mild winter folks complain that mosquitoes and other insect pests will be worse. This past January we had some of the coldest temperatures in several years. People have asked me if that weather might have a … Continue reading

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Honey has many sweet uses


Nearly everyone has used honey as a sweetener. It is far sweeter per gram than table sugar. That means fewer calories per serving. About thirty-five years ago I remember watching my future father-in-law dehorning cattle. After tying off exposed bleeding … Continue reading

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Much of our landscaping has been hit hard by cold weather


Ever since the first of the year we’ve experienced strange weather in eastern North Carolina. A few days have been warm. We’ve even seen temperatures in the 70s, but most of it has been cold. Many folks have experienced frozen … Continue reading

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Pussy willows tell us spring is on the way


I know we’ve had some rough weather for this area. We’ve had substantial damage to some of our landscaping too. However, some shrubs have begun to awaken from their slumber. I’m speaking of pussy willows (Salix sp.). There are many … Continue reading

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Dementia is something we all worry about


I was racking my brain trying to come up with a timely column this week. Somebody suggested dementia. I laughed. After a little musing I decided it was a fair topic to discuss. I’ve noticed memory lapses, particularly short-term in … Continue reading

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Feeding birds is a fun winter pastime


Birds will visit a feeder any time of the year, but winter is when we notice them most. Maybe it’s because they have less available food. Maybe it’s because there’s less leaf canopy to conceal them. Maybe it’s because we … Continue reading

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Cast iron plant is tough inside and out


I run into so many people who love houseplants but just don’t have enough light for them. It’s also difficult to find plants that will truly thrive in the shade outdoors. Cast iron plant is one that can do both … Continue reading

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