Grow Your Own Herbs, Chives the Harbingers of Spring

snipped chivesIn the garden, a few chive plants have emerged, harbingers of spring.

I mow them down and add them to scrambled eggs and salads. I can’t (won’t) include a photo of the garden as it’s in a state of undress. It’s undergoing renovations. Hopefully. When time permits. You know how it goes, good intentions and all that. But the herbs thrive, mostly, on neglect and the rewards are great, adding lots of flavor and variety to my cooking and saving me money. Each bunch of herbs may cost just $1 or so, but if you want bay leaves, mint, sage, chives, thyme, oregano, etc?

But for me the greatest benefit to growing herbs, and chives specifically, has nothing to do with cooking or budgets. Whenever I am in the garden cutting chives, the sun always seems to be out as it is now. The herbs in my hand and the sun on my back together remind me of the best of springtime in Connecticut when I was young. My mother had a garden just outside the kitchen door. It was ringed with fat bunches of happy chives and cutting them was one chore my sisters and I loved. We always trimmed and sorted the herbs right there, before coming back into the house. We loved the green stalks and we loved pulling the purple flowers apart to add to our morning eggs. Chives in the garden in Connecticut meant we were barefoot, that the sky was blue, that we were free of school, and our days stretched out forever. And so I stand in my California garden, snipping off the browned and bruised bits, letting the trimmings fall, remembering.

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2 Responses to “Grow Your Own Herbs, Chives the Harbingers of Spring”

  1. penniw
    28. January 2011 um 11:31

    Chive-infused oil is a great idea (see Flavored Oils and Vinegars that I wrote with Michael Chiarello for methods and lots of recipes) and one that can be applied to almost any herb. Also a great way to use up the rest of a bunch of herbs you’ve bought for one recipe and have no idea what to do with the rest.


Penni has written for and co-created some of America’s best cookbooks. Her talent can help you be a celebrity chef in your home kitchen. I trusted Penni with my food..I encourage you to do the same with yours.

-Michael Chiarello

About Penni

Over 30 years as a food and wine professional, writer, and editor.

Cookbook author including:
'The Tra Vigne Cookbook' for Michael Chiarello,
'The Basque Kitchen' for Gerald Hirigoyen
and 'BurgerBar' for Hubert Keller.

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