A Little Break from It All

Oh my, this week has been rough. The social and political landscape just keeps getting more adversarial, and humans are being hurt by it. The economy keeps getting more unbalanced. Yes, I have plenty to share about the 2022 Food It Yourself garden. Yes, I have been cooking plenty of DIY dishes. Today, however, let’s just take a break from the twenty first century.

Back in the late 1900’s my mom would occasionally buy us one of those Teen Trend Magazines. You know the type: full of photos of that month’s heart throb, tips on applying sparkly eyeshadow, and those amazing quizzes. Who is your celebrity soul mate? What kind of friend are you? Which snack matches your hair style? Adolescent Obsession Weekly had the answers. My friends and I always jumped to the quizzes first. So today, I give you The Food It Yourself How Totally Gardener Are You? quiz.

How do you plan your garden?

  1. No planning necessary- you grow the same 6-12 crops every year, rotated through your beds to reduce insect and fungal damage.
  2. Use a computer graphics program to create a 3D map of your planting space and edit in photos of each crop you want to grow.
  3. Make a wish-list on the seed company website, then buy what is still in stock when your next paycheck comes.
  4. Plan? People *plan* gardens?

It’s July and you need fertilizer. What do you do?

  1. Soil was adequately fertilized before planting season. Next question.
  2. Spend the evening reading product reviews on-line. The next day head to the local home improvement warehouse store and buy the highest recommended product.
  3. Go to the local agricultural supply store and ask the staff what they recommend.
  4. Grab a shovel and a wheelbarrow; the compost pile needs to be turned over anyway.

How do you manage weeds in the garden?

  1. Garden rows are covered with weed block fabric. Prevention > cure.
  2.  Three times a week, all weeds are dug up  or worked into the soil using a combination of high-quality garden tools.
  3. Weeds are pulled when they are big enough to grab bare handed; this is done while watching the children and/or pets play in the yard, harvesting, and chatting with your neighbor. 
  4. You only pull the weeds that are not pretty and/or edible. 

Your neighbor has beautiful and highly productive pepper plants. Your peppers are barely alive. What do you do?

  1. Pull your pepper plants and replace them with a crop you know will thrive in your soil.
  2. Ask your neighbor for their pepper production tips and tricks.
  3. Knock on their door with a large bouquet of herbs and ask if they want to trade some peppers for herbs.
  4. It’s fine, nobody excels at everything. (Besides, your cucumbers are way better than theirs.)

What is your least favorite critter to find in your garden?

  1. My spouse, tying up the tomatoes the wrong way.
  2. Squirrels; those little pests steal the tomatoes and plant acorns in the least convenient places.
  3. Deer; whatever they don’t eat they trample. A couple of deer can destroy an entire season of work.

What do you like to listen to in the garden?

  1. A favorite podcast on environmental issues or nutrition.
  2. The birds singing and the sounds of my neighborhood.
  3. I usually have the game on the radio.
  4. Can’t hear anything, I’m giving the lettuce a pep-talk.


  • If you answered mostly 1: You are definitely a gardener. Earthworms love you, squash weevils fear you. 
  • If you answered mostly 2: You are a gardener, for sure. Flowers, vegetables, berries, or fruit trees- you are up for the challenge.
  • If you answered mostly 3: Gardening is definitely for you. You put in the work and you get those tomatoes.
  • If you answered mostly 4: There is no question you are a gardener. Keep on growing, my friend.

What are your results? Share in the comments!