Gooseberry (Ribes sp.)
Gooseberry may look like an intimidating plant and not a safe food source with its spiny fruit, but it can be a healthy and tasty snack for the casual zombie fleer.
The fruit should be harvested when fully mature, but before it ripens. Gooseberry is a great fruit to make jam (if the survivor has appropriate canning materials with them) and store for the long, cold, hopeless nuclear winter.
Prickly Gooseberry (Ribes cynobasti) is one species found in the Midwest, details on which are listed below.
Prickly Gooseberry and the Landscape Architect:
Shrub, anywhere from 2-10 feet high.
Thorny leaves and branches. Leaves are scalloped with five distinctive lobes. Fruits are greenish with vertical stripes. Tubes of flowers hang from each fruit. Gooseberries can be found in rocky and wooded areas, slopes, and borders, as well as limestone bluffs. Half to full sun. Grows best in soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7. Cannot survive in very dry environments.
Flowers bloom in very early spring and can be harmed by late-winter freezes. Hardy, very productive. Also used as ornamental tree or shrub. Addition of comport or other organic materials helps plants settle when planted. Can be propagated from cuttings or through mound layering. Plant at least 4 feet apart.