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Old August 23, 2013   #1
cythaenopsis's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hoboken, NJ USA
Posts: 347
Default Making the most of your chives

As a few others have said, "Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow." They are incredibly resilient.

I love chives. They're one of the perfect herbs in my book. Imparting an onion flavor without overpowering food and leaving onion breath.

I was given a pot of chives and hadn't much of a clue about how to grow them. I'd keep them outdoors in the warm months, then bring them inside in the winter. I'd keep them growing up until sometime in late December, when I'd significantly curtail watering and let them fall back. Then in mid February or so, I'd start normal watering again and they'd kick back into action.

The thing is, I wouldn't use chives on absolutely everything. Mostly with eggs, potatoes, sauces and soups. The plant would grow far more chive leaves than I'd use. Seeing so many of them eventually yellow and shrivel up seemed like such a waste.

I tried culling the crop at the peak and then drying the chives, but they'd taste very weak in comparison to fresh picked. Then one day I heard about freezing them. So that's what I did. Using scissors, I cut a large number of chives about 1-2" from the base, lined them up in several bunches, and then trimmed them down with the scissors to get this:

I then dumped the chopped chives onto wax paper, which I then folded up and stowed in a slider ziplock bag with moist of the air pressed out. This went into the freezer on top of something flat. A few days later, I took it out and grabbed a pinch of chives for an egg I was going to enjoy. The chives thawed out quickly and had a nice strong smell about them. Perfect! A week later, I found the chives to be essentially in the same condition. It didn't look like the freezer had wicked away much moisture. It looks to me like the perfect chive storage solution.

Basically about a week after I did this, the chive plant was already showing some robust growth. Pretty remarkable. I may have to do another culling next month. Looks like I'll have a really good supply of chives going forward, if I keep this up.
I'm (container growing apartment dweller)
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