Grape Vines are just such vigorous and beautiful plants and they are one of the best perennial vegetables. It is together with Goji, Saltbush, Toona and Mulberry one of Eric Toensmeiers "Fabulous Five" temperate woody perennial vegetables that can adress many of the major common nutritional deficiencies. I will make a post on woody perennial vegetables.
There are hairy and non-hairy varieties of grape leaves and they can taste very differently and quite aromatic. I tend to try the leaves of most of the grape plants I encouter in search for a mild tasting variety with big and tender leaves. And until then I will ferment the leaves before eating a lot of them.
Grape Vine leaves are:
- extremely high in dietary fiber (which feeds the gut biome). Extremely high meaning more than double as high as any of 22 common reference vegetables assessed in a study by Eric Toensmeier, Rafter Ferguson, Mamta Mehra: Perennial vegetables: A neglected resource for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and nutrition
- very high in iron, zinc, vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. Very high meaning higher than any of the referenced common vegetables.
- and high in vitamin E. High meaning as high as the highest third of the referenced vegetables.
So to make the fermented grape vine leaves I just went out to our grape vine bamboo trellis pathway and harvested the more lightly colored, younger leaves.
Then I made some little piles of about 10 - 20 leaves each and made rolls out of them which were fixed with pieces of corn husk.
As we emptied another jar of the Fermented Solomons Seal I just put the rolls in that brine and added half a tablespoon of salt and some more water.
I could have harvested many more leaves as there is still a lot of space in the jar.