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Good Life Garden -- Crops
Good Life Garden

Chives

Allium schoenoprasum
Late winter, early spring

In Our Garden


Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum
This variety produces white flowers that are an attractive addition to a home garden plot. New to North American cuisine, they are often found in traditional Chinese and Korean dishes.

In History

Chives have been a favorite in China since 3000 B.C. and were used to stop bleeding and as an antidote to poison. They were also known as rush-leeks during the Middle Ages in Europe.

Cultivation

Growing Tips:
Chives are easy to grow from seed, but need a warm environment of about 65 degrees in order to germinate. They grow well in pots if partially shaded, and need regular watering and fertilizing.

Harvesting Tips:
Cut chives within 1 inch from ground, harvesting four times a year in order to maintain a fresh supply of leaves.

Why It's Good for You

A fragrant herb with a mild onion flavor, chives are the smallest species in the onion family. Add to salads, entrees and side dishes for added flavor along with quercitin and vitamin C – both potential cancer fighters.

Did You Know

Chives are the only member of the onion family native to North America.

Let's Eat

How to Buy:
Choose chives that are firm with a grassy green color. Avoid those that are slimy on the ends or an unattractive color.

How to Store:
Chives are best if consumed fresh, although they will keep in the refrigerator for about seven days if stored in a plastic bag. They can also be frozen or dried but the latter technique will reduce their flavor intensity.

How to Prepare:
Chives are a great garnish to soups and salads adding the perfect finishing touch. They can be used either chopped or whole for a dramatic look.