PSS Spring '11


William Smith alumna writes for the home cook and gardener

by Syeeda Briddell '12 and Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley '05

Ellen Ecker Ogden '76, noted author and garden designer, believes that growing and eating your own food is the best way to truly appreciate everything the planet has to offer. Featuring 15 artistic garden designs and more than 100 seasonal recipes, her fourth and most recent book, The Complete Kitchen Garden, provides step-by-step instructions for designing, planting and using a garden that is, "as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate," she says.

A kitchen garden combines vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs to create an ornamental, edible landscape. "They're usually located near the kitchen door so a cook can run out to clip a few leaves of fresh herbs or salad greens while the onions simmer on the stove," she says.

Ogden, who earned a B.A. in art from William Smith, teaches and lectures on food and garden topics and is a featured speaker at national flower shows and garden events across the U.S. "I hope that my work inspires everyone to try planting a seed and growing food," she says.

A nationally acknowledged kitchen garden expert and cookbook author, Ogden cofounded The Cook's Garden catalog in 1984, introducing home gardeners to European and American heirloom lettuces and other salad greens. The Cook's Garden is now owned by the Burpee seed catalog, and her gardens have been featured in numerous national publications such as The New York Times, Eating Well, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, and Horticulture.

Coca-Cola Company


Favorite thing to grow: Basil. We eat it pretty regularly in salads (toss it in with the greens) and use it to make pesto.

Favorite Cookbook: 2001 Taste of Home Annual Recipes Recent Read: Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Arch Insurance Company


Favorite thing to grow: Garlic–it keeps the vampires away! Actually, the seeds come from plants my grandfather grew, so this is a connection to my relatives.

Favorite Cookbook: Cooking With Mickey - Gourmet Mickey Cookbook Volume II

Recent Read: The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

Federal Communications Commission


Favorite thing to grow: Cubanelle peppers. I love their thin skin, lightness of seed and sweetness.

Favorite Cookbook: My mother's handwritten recipes, which she assembled in a book for me in 1990.

Recent Read: Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson


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