From Seed To Harvest

Posts tagged ‘C’

Chives

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Chives have been used by man for at least 5,000 years. When researched a bit it is no wonder they have been such an established crop generation after generation when measured by their hardiness, their flavor and their health properties.

Chives are the smallest member of the onion family. They do well in sun or shade and propagate rather easily. Their purple flower heads scatter seed that quickly takes root. Once established it is a good idea to divide the plant every 3 or 4 years. Of course you can give some to family or friends but division also aids the garden in terms of pest control. Chives help keep certain pest such as the pesky Japanese beetle at bay. So consider digging up a small portion of the bulk herb and placing it in key locations in your garden. Of course the opposite holds true as well in that it attracts beneficial such as bees to your garden by way of their large flowers. Another interesting note in regards to its beneficial properties is its ability to protect your apple trees from apple scab disease simply by growing around the trees trunk.

Chives also happen to be similar to garlic in its health benefits, just not as potent. Chives are high in vitamin A & C and also contain calcium and iron. Iron is something a lot of folks lack in their diet.

You can eat chives fresh from the garden, dry them or freeze them, though drying tends to retain the least amount of flavor. They go well with soups and stews, potatoes and even salads. I recently had a great aunt mention that she prefers them to onions because they are gentler on her stomach, certainly something to keep in mind.