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Chives, Allium schoenoprasum 

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Most everyone has had a potato adorned with chives at some point, but they also make great additions to salads and other dishes that would benefit from their mild onion flavored leaves. The more cuttings you take, the more it produces.

Growing Info: Chives are perennial plants that will grow about 12 inches (30 cm) high. Should be sown in the spring. While it's best to avoid standing water, keep soil evenly damp. Loves good fertile soil and sunny locations. Can be harvested the first and subsequent years. Cuttings will only promote more growth. When harvesting, cut little tubular leaves to about 1 inch (3 cm) above the ground, then wait until new ones have grown. May be evergreen in mild-winter climates, but in colder regions it will go completely dormant, only to regrow in spring.

Standard Uses: Chives are not only tasty herbs, but when allowed to flower, their pom pom like flowers are quite pretty, making this a nice ornamental plant as well. Can be used as garnishes for not only baked potatoes, but also in cheese and egg dishes, salads and soups. Chopped leaves will make delicious herb butter or cream cheese when combined in a blender or food processor.

Medicinal Uses: Some people have used chives to battle Anorexia Nervosa and similar eating disorders. Chop up about two heaping tablespoons of chives and simmer them in about a pint of boiling water, covered for about twelve minutes. Add a dab of butter and a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste. May be given to sufferers while ensuring that it wont interfere with any fast they may be attempting, but has shown to increase appetite, thus helping to alleviate the problem.