Common Hop (Humulus lupulus var. pubescens)
Hops! These will be just as awesome in the post-apocalyptic future as they are now. Hops are both edible and medicinal. A dye can also be made from the female fruit, and the leaves can be made into a hemp-like fiber. Can also be planted simply as a decorative shrub. The young leaves and shoots of the hop plant can be eaten, and tea made from the leaves and fruits of hops is said to have positive effects on the digestive system and help alleviate insomnia.
The calming effect of hops may provide a well-deserved reprieve from the stress and anxiety of being one of the last humans alive on the planet.
Hops are also one of the main ingredients required to brew many types of beer, one of pre-apocalyptic civilization’s finest inventions. This plant should be protected and propagated if any future civilization of humans values happiness and contentedness. I would argue that propagating hops in the future would be more important than at least 75% of other edible plants. I mean, have you ever had a Surly Furious?
Important Notes on Keeping Happiness Alive:
Hops are perennial herbaceous climbing plants. Leaves have three lobes with serrated edges and alternate veins. The fruit is about 1/2 -1 inch long, cone-shaped and green, flowering from July to August. Found near water bodies, in river beds, ditches, canals, runoff areas, and other wet or disturbed areas. They like full to partial sun. Can grow in sandy, loamy, or clay soils as well as a range of pH’s. Prefers moist soil but can grow in drier environments. Can tolerate flooding.
Plant seeds in early spring in a cold frame, move to pots in late spring, then plant in summer.