CompleteKitchenGarden banneredited

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you." ― Jane Goodall


Hello Everyone.

Each month, when I sit down to write this newsletter, I often don't know where to start. Over the past few weeks, I've been collecting ideas, jotting notes, sending myself links to share, but the truth of the matter is that finding the best theme often doesn't come to me until I choose my first photo. In this case, it is about writing journals inspired by the Romanesco broccoli, shown above.

I took this photo at a local farm stand a few years back, while doing research for my new (upcoming) book. It was one of hundreds I take every summer of gardens and beautiful food, as I imagine you do as well. Lately, I've allowed Instagram to take the place of my written garden journal. Taking time to sit, think, listen then write seems to have largely fallen by the wayside.

This summer, several new books have sparked my enthusiasm to read and write more, to follow the journey of fellow gardeners, starting with Kathryn Aalto's new book Writing Wild. I'm inspired by fellow Vermonter Bill Noble's new book Spirit of Place and excited to read Uprooted by Page Dickey, which is coming out in September and is on my pre-order list. I was quite taken by this idea for a book titled 3191 Miles Apart, two long distance friends exchange thoughts throughout the year.

Beginning September 1st, I'll be hosting my first virtual class on How to Write a Family Cookbook, another way to keep a journal. Join me for a free introductory class to learn more, info below. As always, my goal is to inspire you to grow a beautiful food garden and encourage you to share what you love with others, and to get back to writing in your garden journal.

Grow beautiful food,
Ellen Ecker Ogden
Kitchen Garden Designs

Author of The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden plus other books for Cooks who Love to Garden.


Putting Food By

There is so much happening in the world, that I'm finding it hard to stay focused on just one thing. Is this happening to you, too? Cooking has always been my comfort activity, the thing I do when I need to chill. I take a deep breath, and start to chop, simmer and boil. Before I know it, I've put away a dozen jars of ginger peach chutney, six quart jars of bread and butter pickles and enough pesto to hopefully last the winter. Here's what's steaming up my kitchen windows this August. Click on the photo for a recipe.


Rosehip Jam (without Pectin)


Bread and Butter Pickles


Pesto ( and Swirl Bread)


Ginger Peach Chutney


“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ― Jane Goodall

How to Write a Family Cookbook

Writing your family cookbook is more than simply recording the recipes. It’s a way to preserve family traditions and gives you a place to share stories, photos and techniques. There is no better time to begin than right now to gather the recipes and the stories to layout your cookbook for printing as a gift to your family.

You may have a notebook full of recipes that simply need to be organized, and typed, but then what’s the next step? Starting this September, I will be teaching a series of classes to teach others how to write a family cookbook, to help keep these family memories alive. An ideal project for families to do together, for a special reunion, a birthday or wedding gift. Cooking and gathering recipes is a way to preserve history through family connections and capturing personal stories.

This month, I've hosted two (free) introductory classes to share the six step process in the hopes to encourage you to join me for the full course. I'll be offering another class on Wednesday, August 26th @noon. Send me a note with your email, and I'll send you an invitation.

instagram August newsletter

Recent Instagram posts.


“Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don't change.”― Jane Goodall

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