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Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.
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of the Month
10" to 12"
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
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
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.
here to see a preview of the
Contents for Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs.
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Herb of the Month pages.
comprehensive revised edition of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut
Herbs is available from
most internet booksellers, bookstores, and in libraries. It can be
ordered from the distributor,
Independent Publishers Group.
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I look forward to hearing from you.
Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
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The Herbal Connection