Sunday, July 02, 2006

Chinese Chives

No photo today (Ning has the camera in China) but this is what Chinese chives look like. Yesterday I made Chinese dumplings for honored guests. The filling is a mixture of finely chopped Chinese Chives (garlic chives, also called Chinese leek), some finely chopped tofu, and some finely chopped scrambled egg. These are combined with some soy sauce, and packed into wrappers made from flour and oil, then boiled. This is not exactly the same recipe, but amazingly similar, considering that it it is from a Thai recipe.

The Chinese chives grow easily. They are perrenial and once established, grow rapidly after cutting each crop. We have them in two half-barrels, which makes them accessable for cutting, and allows for close management (especially keeping weeds out, since young chives and grass look so much alike). This is about the 3rd cutting this year. They will get a dose of fish emulsion to speed the next crop. There are several varieties in China. The better ones here came from a packet of seeds that Ning brought from China. They are a Winter Dormant variety.

As a onion/garlic family plant, the flowers should attract beneficial insects, and the plants may keep away some harmful insects. They are supposed to be pest free, but there was a problem last year with a tiny black aphid. Some soap spray solved that problem but it took a couple of tries.

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