Chives were thought to have a magical power to drive away evil influences and diseases. People hung bunches of chives throughout their homes.
Today, using chives as an herbal medicine, it is commonly accepted that the allium schoenoprasum does not carry the same value as close relatives, the garlic and onion.
Chives and Garlic Chives are easily propagated by division or from seed. I also have found that if the mature seed heads are not removed before fall, they will self seed the remainder of your herb garden!
They demand little care other than dividing every few years when they become overcrowded.
They also make attractive border plants for your herb garden.
To harvest chives, simply cut the fresh leaves at ground-level for use fresh throughout the season.
Drying chives is not a practical method of preservation. Chives do not hold their flavor when dried, as do many other culinary herbs.
Freezing chives seems to be the favored method of preservation. To harvest, cut the fresh leaves for use throughout the season at ground-level. Clip the hollow spears into the desired length and freeze in a single layer, or put a tablespoon-full into each compartment of an ice cube tray, fill with water, freeze, then move the cubes to freezer bags for permanent storage.
When colonists came to America they brought chives along with many other kitchen and medicinal herbs.
Just imagine tasting a freshly baked potato topped with butter and/or sour cream, but without the addition of a liberal sprinkle of chives. To many, it would sound like the waste of a good baked potato!