Building Community Through the Arts

Spencertown Academy Presents “The Art of Growing Food” Virtual Talk by Ellen Ecker Ogden

March 30, 2021

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York– Spencertown Academy Arts Center Hidden Gardens Virtual Lecture Series presents a talk by Ellen Ecker Ogden titled “The Art of Growing Food” on Saturday, May 1 at 4:00pm via Zoom. The lecture will be about an hour, followed by a Q&A with participants. Tickets are $10. To register, please see

“Ellen was a guest lecturer at the Academy ten years ago when her book, The Complete Kitchen Garden, came out. She’s a delightful speaker who breaks the art of garden design down so it is accessible to everyone,” says Madaline Sparks, Academy board member and co-chair of Hidden Gardens. “The timing of this presentation is perfect. There’s still plenty of time to implement her tips and put into practice her advice for a fabulous kitchen garden of flowers and edibles this season. Get ready to transform your classic vegetable garden into a spectacular European potager.”

In this lecture, Ogden will illuminate six steps to successful kitchen garden design based on her years as an artist, gardener, and cook. She will deliver fresh ideas on how to bring art and whimsy to the kitchen garden, while also maintaining productivity and easy maintenance. Participants will discover how to design and plant an edible garden with an eye toward beauty, bounty, and sanctuary. Ogden will offer suggestions for what to grow based on her seed catalog favorites, such as Italian Purple Pole beans, Piccolo Verde basil, Troutback lettuce, and ornamental artichokes. The talk will revolve around creative ideas and photographs from her books, The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden, both of which are available at The Chatham Bookstore (27 Main Street, Chatham, NY) with a 10% discount if you mention Spencertown Academy.

In addition to being a kitchen garden designer and the author, Ogden is co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog, introducing cooks and gardeners to European specialty vegetables, herbs, and flowers. She graduated with a degree in fine arts, and attended cooking school with Marcella Hazan in Venice, Italy, and at the Ballymaloe School in Shanagarry, Ireland. Her articles and kitchen garden designs have appeared in numerous national publications, including The New York TimesMartha Stewart LivingBetter Homes and Gardens, Eating Well, Garden Design, and Country Gardens, among others.

This talk is sponsored by Country Caretaker Garden Center (Canaan, NY). Additional lecture topics and dates will be announced soon. The annual Hidden Garden Tour will take place on August 28, 2021. In addition to properties with beautiful landscapes and flower gardens, it will feature various vegetable gardens this year.  

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact [email protected].


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