Ellen Ogden of Cook’s Garden fame responded to my post last month about the changes to the catalog. I wrote to Ellen to thank her and to ask her if I could re-post her comment here to make sure everyone saw it. She graciously agreed, so here you go:
As the "cook" of The Cook’s Garden, and original co-founder back in 1984, I greatly appreciate all of your kind words about the catalog and comments about the new format. Passion and enthusiasm for gardening and cooking motivated us to publish The Cook’s Garden 25 years, and we had no idea that the catalog would still exist. It has been rewarding to discover new salad greens and veggies that we could share with other dedicated gardeners, and there is no question that Mary Azarian’s woodcuts added a magical appeal to the catalog.
The 2008 catalog is definitely a new twist for Cook’s, and while I was not involved in the decision, I was actually delighted by the beautiful photographs of Four Seasons lettuce of Reine des Glaces, and other examples which show off how exquisite lettuce and mesclun can be. And Ros Creasy’s cover photo is a perfect example of how the food we grow translates into delicious eating, which is always been at the heart of Cook’s Garden.
Just like in the little "tip jar" on this blog page reads change is good, the photos are meant to offer inspiration and encouragement to gardeners. For the record, I remain an enthusiastic gardener and cook, and truly believe that whatever it takes to keep the connection for everyone to keep growing food from seed and enjoy good eating from their garden – is the ultimate universal goal.
Our original reason for selling the business was to provide a better product for our customers, since our "temperature controlled facility" was a wood stove in a drafty barn. It’s been an interesting journey, yet I am delighted that Cook’s is still in print and offers gardeners the same heirloom lettuce, radicchio and mesclun that we first discovered 24 years ago.