The Sweet Life Gardener – Chives

By Alisa Murray

Hey Sweet Lifers! One of the easiest to grow and certainly a lovely addition to any garden is chives. They are, with reference to taste, the lightest of the onion family. They are also one of the oldest herbs as they have been cultivated for 5,000 years. 

Culinarily speaking there’s nothing better on a baked potato than a fresh chopped chive. Anyone who is barely a cook at all knows immediately the vast difference in taste between a fresh chive and something dried. In the latter form, there’s just too much missing.

Chives are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and potassium. In French cooking, chives are one of the “Les Fines Herbes,” along with parsley, chervil and tarragon. Chives are a popular addition to poultry and fish dishes, as well as breads and pancakes enhancing lightly every dish that needs a little something.

Medicinally, chives have been used for thousands of years. During the Roman Empire dried chives were hung around homes to ward off infections. Uses for the treatment of sore throats and sunburns to lowering blood pressure have all been recorded for this multi-purpose herb.

In the garden, chives are a perennial that if planted in a favorable spot will return annually. In my own garden, they have expanded annually to almost fill an entire raised bed. This herb is also an excellent insect repellant, because it has trace amounts of sulfur that pesky bugs do not like at all. Chives also are appealing to the “sweet” bugs, too, so it’s one of my favorites for attracting bees and ladies to
the Sweet Life Garden! 

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