So my chive plant is ready for harvest and how do I know?
Passing by them on my way to the cilantro this gorgeous April Florida day, the sunshine high and bright, the breeze a bit brisk, I noticed the flowers had some dark seed-looking things were perched within them. Now the chive flowers have long since lost their bloom which is a good sign we’re on our way to seed production. Happens that way with so many of my vegetables, I figured why not? But with a double-take, I peered at these easily visible babies and thought: no way. It can’t be that easy.
But ever the optimist, I plucked those old buds right off the stem and headed indoors. Shaking the black dots off the petals, I gathered them into a pile on my desk, right next to my computer screen. A quick search of the internet should provide me with some photos and sure enough, a few keystrokes later I was grinning. It absolutely was that easy!! Small black bean-shaped seeds, it read. Yep, that’s exactly what I had in my hot little hands! But they’re actually flat. At least to my aging eyes it appears that they’re flat.
Well I marched right back outside to harvest the rest of them! Excited gardeners are full of energy and exuberance–and we don’t wait for nuthin’! As I pushed through the screen door–my herb garden is now conveniently located just outside my patio–the wind kicked my hair to and fro, this way and that. Seems even in April we get “cold fronts” here in Central Florida and mine is howling today. And don’t you know, one of the instructions noted “it’s best to harvest chive seeds on days with minimal wind.” Of course it did. (Mother Nature and I have somewhat of a contentious relationship. She’s contentious and I do my best to smile. Sugar and flies and honey and bees, you know!)
Undaunted, I snipped the rest of the dried buds from the plant and plopped them directly into my awaiting Mason jar. Under the circumstances, I decided it was the only way to ensure minimal loss since I wasn’t working under minimal wind conditions. It’s a living. 🙂