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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Days of our Chives

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our Chives.

Chives are an herb that we probably take for granted. I am impressed with their durability and beauty. Let’s get to know chives a little better.

Chives are the most diminutive member of the onion family and they have a mild onion or garlic flavor depending on the type of chive. They are hollow and tubular and look like thick grass. Chives grow well in most types of soil and regenerate even after being harvested. They can be grown from seed or by dividing and transplanting existing chives. When harvesting they can be cut down to two inches above the base and they will replenish through the growing season. The growing season can be year round in a temperate climate or if you plant them in pots indoors. Chives are great fresh but they also retain much of their flavor when freeze dried. Many people think the only use for chives is to flavor potato chips but there are many other uses.

Decoration

The most surprising thing to me about growing chives is their beauty. They are a dark green color and you can see from our pictures that the purple flowers are very beautiful. We will probably plant more chives in our flower garden next year.

Pest Control

Chives are a great companion plant to have in your garden as they repel bugs due to the sulfur that they contain. Plant them with your tomatoes, grapes, roses, or carrots. The flowers also attract bees which is a plus for your garden as well.

Medical Uses

Chives are rich in Calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. They have been used in diets to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and also help with anemia due their iron content.

Cooking

Chives can be used in meals any time you want to add a mild onion flavor to your food. They are great with most savory egg dishes, potatoes in various forms, soups, salad dressings, sauces. In our home we use them in our omelet, egg drop soup, and breakfast burrito recipes, in addition to chopping them up and putting them on salads or in baked potatoes.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE USES FOR CHIVES?

3 comments:

Emily said...

I like them pretty much any where you would use a green onion. We have a recipe for we black bean casserole that is delicious with sour cream and chives on top!

Dale Johnson said...

Michael,

Thank you for this article. We have chives growing outside our kitchen window and I always forget them. I want to start using them more.

NanetteB said...

Great Post!! These truly are the days of our chives!!