Helping Others Connect with Nature

Eco ImagesEco Images

Helping Others Connect with Nature


Founded by Vickie Shufer in 1986, Eco Images offers a variety of experiences to help others connect with nature and enhance their appreciation of the outdoors. From exploring the outdoors, foraging, medicine making, to growing native and medicinal plants in backyards and gardens, there is something for everyone.

Vickie Shufer is a naturalist, herbalist, and forager with a master’s degree in therapeutic herbalism. She teaches classes on edible and medicinal plants, as well as outdoor education programs. Vickie is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Foraging (Adams Media, 2011), and was the editor/publisher of The Wild Foods Forum newsletter from 1994 to 2014. Vickie also has a certified, 16-acre native nursery in northeastern North Carolina where she propagates coastal native plants and forest botanicals and teaches groups how to use them for food, medicine, and crafts.

Evan Rhodes
is an avid outdoorsman who joined the Eco Images team in 2016 to help educate others on wildlife and the outdoors. Having spent much of his life in and around Back Bay, coastal Virginia and North Carolina, he is passionate about the ecology of coastal waterways and the aquatic wildlife that resides there.

Welcome to Our New Website!

I'm excited to present our new website, and our renewed effort to help others connect with nature and enhance their appreciation of the outdoors. With a focus on Programs, Products and Plants, take some time to preuse our site and check back often as our site grows!

About Our Programs in Nature

Outdoor Adventures

There are a number of opportunities to explore backyards, swamps, marshes, and forests and become familiar with the plants and animals that live there. Programs promote getting outdoors and connecting with nature while developing skills for being outdoors.

In Our

Plants Spotlight

Yaupon Holly is a member of the holly family with evergreen leaves and waxy, red berries that ripen just in time for the December holiday season. The leaves are sustainably harvested, dried, and roasted to make a stimulating tea that contains caffeine, theobromine, and antioxidants.

Yaupon available in light, medium, and dark roast.Yaupon available in light, medium, and dark roast.

Yaupon is available from Wild Woods Farm in loose leaf, dried and roasted, by the pound, in 3-oz. bags, or as sampler tea bags. It is also available by the pound unroasted.

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About Plants in Our

Wild Woods Farm Native Nursery

The Wild Woods Farm is a 16-acre native nursery located in northeastern North Carolina where native and medicinal plants are grown in their natural habitat. The inventory fluctuates, so call or email for additional information. To schedule a visit, call Vickie at (757) 421-3929 or email .

Heartleaf GingerIn the spring, when the trees begin sending out new growth, nutrients from the roots are being transported to the leaves and branches via the sap. This is the tim to harvest branches for the inner bark which contains their nutrients.

Peeling the bark of black willow (Salix nigra) and prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) has been my primary focus for the past several weeks. The bark easily slips off the branches in long strips and is then dried for a few days. Cutting it into small pieces and then decocting it as a tea is the first step in the medicine-making here to read more!

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Mosses are primitive plants that form a green carpet on the forest floor. They belong to a group of plants called bryophytes that lack true roots. Instead, they have rhizoids that serve as a holdfast for the plant. Instead of flowers, fruits, or seeds, they have spores for reproducing and also spread vegetatively. They grow in shady, moist soil and are dependent on water to make food and for fertilization. When they are dry, they fold their leaves or curl them up to prevent evaporation of water.


Peat moss is probably one of the most popular mosses and is often used by gardeners to wrap the roots of plants to keep them moist until they can be planted. It is also antiseptic and absorbs water and was used for bandages during WWI. Mosses can also be a source of water in a survival situation and for filtration. They are waterproof and can be used to cover a shelter and for erosion control. Mosses are healing in that they can calm your spirit and provide a soft mat to walk across, massaging the feet in the process.