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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
Growing & Selling  
                Fresh-Cut Herbs
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Author Bio Biographical statement from the author of Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.

Sandie is a speaker
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herbs efficiently

Growing and Selling
Fresh-Cut Herbs

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Herb of the Month


Allium schoenoprasum
Hardy Perennial

10" to 12"

     Chives, along with curly parsley, are among the very first herbs to be grown and sold on a commercial scale many years ago. Their popularity continues today because the onion-like flavor of chives is so versatile and can be used in just about any type of cuisine.
     Many homes around the country have a resident clump of chives growing somewhere around the yard. Even though it is a common herb in many gardens it is still much in demand in the marketplace. Those that are in the business of growing and selling fresh-cut herbs should include chives in their product list, despite the problems associated with them.
     Chives are quite easy to grow but they can be a real "pain" for the commercial grower. If weeds and grass are allowed to grow within the clump it can be very time consuming to clean them and make them attractive for sales. Old dried tips, left from the previous cutting, must be cut off before selling them as well. Another problem for the commercial grower is that chives will stop growing vigorously after the third or fourth cutting so the grower should have lots of chive clumps in production.
     The beautiful blossoms of chives can provide a bonus crop during their flowering season. They can be used in a variety of ways just as any edible flowers are. Be sure to remove the flower stem from the clumps when they are picked or done flowering, as they are very tough.
     Until recently the only variety of chives available was plain old chives! Today you will see many new varieties in seed catalogs. Many chefs seem to prefer the newer "fine-leafed" types. These only seem to be fine leafed in their first year of growth, however. A variety called "Grolau" was developed for forcing in the greenhouse. It grows very well in the greenhouse during winter. You can find this variety through links on this web site to Nichols Garden Nursery and Richter's Herbs.
      Garlic Chives (sometimes called Oriental chives or Chinese leeks), Allium tuberosum, are gaining in popularity. These combine the flavor of onions and garlic. They grow much like regular chives and they have some advantages over onion chives for the commercial grower. The blades are flat and heavy so it takes less to make the weight in packaging. They grow back fast after cutting and the individual bulbs grow tightly together so it is more difficult for weeds and grass to grow within the clump. Garlic chives grow much better than regular chive varieties in the greenhouse during the winter months.

     Chives is covered in more detail in Chapter 16 of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs by Sandie Shores.
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The comprehensive revised edition of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs is available from author, most internet booksellers, bookstores, and in libraries.  It can be ordered from the distributor, Independent Publishers Group

E-mail your questions, tips or suggestions.
I look forward to hearing from you.


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