Chives are a valuable survival crop due to their ability to thrive in a variety of conditions and their delicious culinary and medicinal uses. Chives are a delightful herb with delicate green stalks and vibrant purple blossoms. They are an incredibly beautiful and helpful addition to the garden.
You may not initially consider chives as a valuable survival crop but I’m hoping to help you see why you may want to reconsider. Chives are a crop that I don’t want to have to be without.
Let’s delve into eight reasons why you should consider growing chives in your survival garden.
1. Chives are hardy and adapt to many climates.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are hardy perennial plants that can withstand a wide range of climates and soil conditions. Chives can tolerate cold temperatures and can be grown in both full sun and partial shade.
2. Chives are easy to grow.
No green thumb is required when it comes to growing chives. Chives are incredibly easy to grow, making them an ideal crop for survival situations. They can be grown in a garden, in a kitchen window, or in a pot on the porch.
Chives are perennial which means that they grow back year after year. They can be propagated from seeds or divided clumps. The seeds germinate quickly, and the plants establish themselves rapidly. Chives require little maintenance beyond occasional watering.
Chive seeds only have about a 3-year shelf life. If you are having difficulty getting them started, you may be using older seeds. Purchase a fresh pack or get a plant from your local nursery. Chives should be divided every 3 or 4 years to keep them growing strong so you may want to see if a local gardener has a start to share with you.
3. Chives provide an abundant, dependable harvest.
Chives are known for their prolific growth and high yield. Once established, a chive plant will continue to produce for many years. One established plant can be divided into clumps and provide more chives than you can possibly consume.
Chive stems or leaves are simple to harvest by cutting them close to the base. Chives like to be harvested and will happily reward you for the honor of feeding you with more growth. This renewable source of food can provide tasty food for your everyday diet as well as during long-term survival situations.
4. Chives are packed with nutrition for such a hardy, tasty plant.
Chives are not a source of substantial calories, but they are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron. Chives have antioxidant properties and can help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Chives can contribute to a balanced diet and provide essential nutrients that are frequently missing from basic stored dry goods.
5. Chives are a delightful culinary herb.
Chives have a mild onion-like flavor and are delicious as a culinary herb. They are a nice replacement for onions especially because they are available so early in the spring. The stems/leaves can be chopped and can be used to add flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, sauces, and stir-fries.
You can use a knife to cut the chives but I love these herb scissors. It makes the job go much more quickly.
The delicate purple flowers are my favorite. The flavor is mild and delicious. They add beauty and novelty to foods and make a fun garnish. Click here to see my favorite recipe for poppy seed dressing using chive blossoms.
6. Chives have powerful medicinal properties.
Chives contain powerful medicinal properties that may come in handy in a survival situation. They have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Chives help to promote digestion and act as a mild diuretic. Including tasty chives in your diet has health benefits in addition to adding flavor.
7. Chives make a great companion plant and attract beneficial insects.
Chives are beneficial in a survival garden and serve as a natural pest-repellent. Their strong aroma can help deter pests like aphids, carrot flies, and Japanese beetles, protecting other crops in the vicinity. Bees and other pollinators love the chive flowers and can increase the production of other plants.
8. Chives are easy to preserve and store well.
Chive stems or blossoms are easy to dehydrate, dry, or freeze-dry. Dried chives help bridge the winter months until the next growing season and are incredibly convenient to have in your pantry. Dried chives can be sprinkled over foods without rehydrating or added to soups or casseroles to add a wonderfully delicate onion flavor. Fresh, chopped chives will last for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Chives are a winner in every garden!
Chives are a versatile and resilient crop that can provide beauty, sustenance, flavor, and health benefits in every garden but are especially valuable in survival situations. While chives don’t provide the necessary calories to survive, they contain vitamins A and C that tend to be missing from most stored dry goods.
If you don’t have chives in your garden, pick up a little plant from your local nursery or purchase seeds to get started. I think you will come to love having your own fresh supply of chives as much as I do.
Thanks for being part of the solution!Jonathan and Kylene Jones