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 recently retired from teaching high school agriculture after 25 years teaching with my wife. Until recently I wrote a weekly nature/foraging column for the local paper ( I also have written several Christian nature/adventure novels that can be purchased on Amazon in Kindle format. One is a five book family saga I call the 'Forgotten Virtues' series. In the first book, Never Alone (presently out of print), a young boy comes of age after his father dies in a plane crash, and he has to make it alone. 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 (this one is not yet published). 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. I also wrote a romance novel titled Virginia. It is available on Amazon and is a different type of romance from a man's perspective.

Types of plant pathogens

This post is meant to simplify plant diseases and their control. I hope I don’t offend any plant pathologist out there. My father was a plant pathologist, and he might have cringed at some of my generalizations, but I’m not … Continue reading

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Pruning tips

This is a subject folks frequently ask me. The following is rather simplistic, but important none the less. Pruning is a chore all gardeners must perform. Many folks avoid it, and results are seldom pretty. There are several reasons we … Continue reading

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Ranger – I Loved him like my children

Today was one of the toughest days I can remember. My dog, Ranger, was hit by a car a little over a month from his second birthday. He was a beautiful big red golden retriever who was mature beyond his … Continue reading

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New book titles available on Amazon in paperback

I’ve decided to format and put some books up on Amazon. I’ve re-released Never Alone and posted the other books in that Series (Strange Courage [#2], Second Chances [#3], and Grandfather’s Way [#5]). I’m still working on Promises Kept, which … Continue reading

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Spurweed is out there now – don’t delay

I thought I’d post a quick note on a nasty weed.This recent warm weather has made many lawn weeds pop. Among them is spurweed (Soliva sessilis)) otherwise known as lawn burweed, stickerweed and sandbur. It is a low growing fine … Continue reading

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Spring weeds are now appearing

Spring weeds are now appearing It has been quite a while since I’ve posted any articles, but this is a time that we need to get outside and check out what is coming up in our lawns and garden beds. … Continue reading

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Books now available on Kindle

Strange Courage By Ted Manzer Most of the Forgotten Virtues series is now available on Kindle. Never Alone was released in 2017 and is in the process of being re-released. Three more books in the series are now out there. … Continue reading

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Waiting for the kids and thinking of my mother

Christmastime is a great time for reflection. I’m waiting for my kids to come, and I remember when each arrived for the first time. When Daniel was born, we were new to the whole thing. We got in a hurry. … Continue reading

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Dill Pickles can be made from those big orange cucumbers too

Back in 2014 I posted a column about making sweet pickles from big overripe cucumbers. I included a recipe my mother used and still makes for her church. She’s now almost 88.  The recipe was called Ruth’s pickles and I … Continue reading

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Coronavirus constraints make me appreciate self-sufficiency

I’ve always had an independent streak. The pioneer lifestyle has always fascinated me. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong century, except if I had then I never would have taken up writing. Modern editing capability makes writing … Continue reading

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