"Last sunset, last twilight, last stars of December.

And so this year comes to an end, a year rich in the small everyday events of the earth, as are all years for those who delight in simple things."

--Edwin Way Teale

bulbs- teapot

Artwork by Vermont woodcut artist, Mary Azarian. Click on the photo to visit her website

Hello Everyone.

It seems like just last week, when I collected beans that had grown too plump to eat, now the pods have turned dry and crackly. This month, I am slipping them open to reveal seeds, tiny gifts to save and grow again next spring. Like good sourdough bread starter, seeds can easily be shared with other gardeners. Maybe that's why I am so obsessed with heirlooms seeds.

Seed saving was once a necessity, but also a link to the past. Some of the heirloom seeds that we grow today were brought to the United States by immigrants who smuggled seeds inside the lining of coats, suitcases and hatbands, or sewn into the hems of dresses. Handed down from family to family, seeds were something small they could bring to connect them to their homeland.

New this month, I opened a store on my website to introduce you to my new garden design and writing classes. If I can't be in the garden, I might as well be teaching. It's the perfect time of year to ponder next years garden, and to write your family cookbook.

What I like most about teaching and seed saving, is that it's all about sharing, both the knowledge and the thrill of growing something new. Learn more about many of the heirloom seeds you can grow, for the best flavor and fragrance, and join me at one of my upcoming classes. Sending you best wishes, from my garden to yours.

As Always,
Ellen Ecker Ogden

Author of The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden. For Gardeners Who Love to Cook.


Braised Cosmic Carrots with Tarragon. Recipe from The New Heirloom Garden. Photo by Matthew Benson.

Writing Class | Family Cookbook

How to Write a Family Cookbook. is a six part writing class, part memoir writing, as well as a recipe writing.

In my class, you will learn how to write a proper recipe, as well as develop your narrative voice to write the stores behind your recipes. I'll share tips for how to photograph food for the camera, and capture those family memories. Class is limited to 10 students, small enough for an intimate conversation about food with other cooks.

If this sounds like something you'd like to try, sign up for my free introductory class or for the full class. Follow this link to learn more. or email me directly. Next class starts in January.

Cane Chair

Artwork by Mary Azarian. From the Cook's Garden catalog.

Kitchen Garden Design Class

Are you ready to redesign your existing garden? In my class, Art of Growing Food, you will learn my six steps to successful kitchen garden design.

Get out the graph paper and pencils, take a look at photos of your garden and learn to start your design on paper to map out a plan.

This class follows my lecture format, yet goes deeper to learn more about the elements that add art and whimsy to your design. Follow this link to learn more. Next class starts in March.


"Everybody needs beauty; Places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” --- John Muir

New Heirloom Book. Cover

Pre-order available now. Arriving in bookstore everywhere on Feb. 2, 2021

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Smiling author photo taken on the day my new book arrived.

Book News

I'm excited to announce that my new book, The New Heirloom Garden is available now for pre-order on Amazon or your local bookstore. It will be available in bookstores everywhere beginning February 2nd, and I'll be giving an author talk at our Northshire Bookstore on launch night. Stay tuned!

Newsletter News

Would you like to learn more about how to design a kitchen garden, what to plant for the best flavor, have exclusive access to my recipes and discounts on books and classes? Sign up for my expanded newsletter, The Art of Growing Food with tips and techniques for growing a beautiful food garden. Visit this page to learn more.

Instagram screen shot

Follow me into the garden to spark fresh ideas for your own kitchen garden on Instagram.



As gardeners, we know the taste of food pulled from the ground, the feel of easily twisting off a green bean from its stem, or the fragrance of an apple dropped from a tree at the peak of ripeness. I'm taking notes about things I love this time of the year.

Favorite Garden Word: Regenerative Agriculture
Sowing this month: MIcrogreens (indoors)
Favorite Garden Plant of 2020: Annelino Pole Beans
Second Favorite Garden Plant of 2020: Cardoon ( It volunteered!)
Garden Book Currently Reading: The Earth in Her Hands by Jennifer Jewell.
Recent Fall Project: Collected seed pods to dry and share.
Favorite Fall Cookbook & Recipe: Apple Sharlotka adapted from Beyond the North Wind by Darra Goldstein
Next year I vow to: Plant a row of lettuce and Mesclun every week.
Cooking Tonight: Heirloom Pumpkin and Apple Bisque

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