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.

Citrus greening disease threatens the entire citrus industry


I always look forward to this time of year when citrus supplies are plentiful. My favorite one has always been the tangelo, but that is changing. It’s not because I like them less, it’s because they are nowhere to be … Continue reading

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Rose rosette disease is good for some and bad for others


Everyone has heard the expression to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes a cure for one problem can cause another. Rose rosette disease is a prime example. Years ago, multiflora rose was planted as natural fencing and for soil … Continue reading

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Agaves can be dual purpose succulents


It’s nice to be able to go on vacation and not worry about houseplants or flower gardens. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first is to set up an automatic watering system. The second is to choose plants … Continue reading

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Food lover’s holiday


There’s no holiday that stimulates the palate quite like Thanksgiving. Oh, I know food shouldn’t be our reason for looking forward to it. Despite the problems our citizens face we still have plenty to be thankful for, and I hope … Continue reading

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Cranberries can be an all season treat


Most people only eat cranberries at Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas. When they do find their way to our plates they’re usually smothered with sugar. If people only knew the benefits of this tart fruit they might try eating them more … Continue reading

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Catnip and catmint are confusing cousins


To most folks they are interchangeable. Catnip and catmint are closely related perennial herbs in the mint family. If I had to state their greatest deference it would be that catmint has more ornamental value. Catnip is more of a … Continue reading

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Dianthus provide a wide variety of great cool-season flowers


When folks ask about dianthus I smile. It’s like asking a kid if he likes candy bars. The obvious answer is yes, but there are so many different kinds to choose from. Dianthus is a genus with a great variety … Continue reading

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