Which Caricature Are You?

People come to gardening for many reasons. Have you ever wondered where you stand in the great big world of edible gardening, environmentalism and social awareness? Well not to worry, we’ve designed this Cosmo-inspired quiz that will lead you to greater self-awareness of your particular gardening caricature. Just answer the following questions and check your results below to gain greater stereotyped insight into your true self*:

The power goes out. You:

  1. Don’t notice; the candles were already lit for an evening of group meditation.
  2. Don’t worry, you’ve got 96 hours of battery backup as part of your solar power system and the root cellar is fully stocked with homegrown potatoes.
  3. Hope the battery on your iPad is fully charged so you can keep up on Mom2Bantams latest issue with vent prolaspe on the the backyardchickens.com forums.
  4. Fire up your generator and start monitoring the HF bands for news of the global catastrophe. It’s only a matter of time before TSHTF.

At work, you keep the following in your desk drawer to tide you over between meals:

  1. A huge bag of certified gluten-free granola made by your roommate, Tidewater Rainshadow.
  2. Trader Joe’s Bison jerky (grass fed, lightweight, portable, and high protein – what more could you want?) and a Sigg full of tap water.
  3. Certified fair trade 75% cocoa chocolate bars and some pomegranate-flavored greek yogurt.
  4. Work? At a desk? Your acreage is paid off, and you barter sorghum molasses for shoes. Why the hell would you work in an office?

In the trunk of your car, someone is most likely to find:

  1. You don’t own a car. Everything you need, physically and spiritually, exists within your community.
  2. Random stuff the kids threw into the back of the SUV, plus bottled water, blankets, a flashlight, and a Costco-box of organic granola bars.
  3. The back of the Prius holds a lot: a yoga mat for Ashtanga practice, $5 a pound chicken from the farmer’s market and some old fold up chairs you found on Freecycle and plan to turn into a climbing tower for your peas.
  4. First, it’s a Ford F350, not a car. Second, they won’t find it. Third, if for some reason they did, it’s a false compartment with an M4 and a case of .223 Remington plus standard BOB stuff everyone carries: water purification tablets, a ferrocerium rod, a crank operated radio…you know, the basics.
The last thing delivered to you by UPS was:
  1. Nothing – you live carbon-neutral and refuse to support a delivery chain that depends on the exploitation of natural resources.
  2. A 24-pack of Smartipants reusable diapers, in Clever Clover, Hot Chocolate, and Aqua Breeze.
  3. A Hanakapiai hemp iPad sleeve from ColcaSac.
  4. Nothing – if it has a tracking number, that means someone is tracking it to your door.
Your children:
  1. Are happy, healthy, and free to explore their own nature within a loving village community of many vegetarian adult caregivers.
  2. Learn Latin in Homeschool club and spend their summers volunteering with Habitat For Humanity and local farmers in order to learn practical skills that will complement their classical trivium-based education. You are making sure they are fully prepared for an uncertain future. They just want a damn Wii like their friends.
  3. You don’t have any kids but you have a dog and you got chickens last year so you completely understand what it’s like to be a parent. (Sometimes the chickens need to be fed three times a week! It’s a real commitment!) If you decide to become a parent, you’ll adopt because it’s totally selfish to have your own kids when so many out there could use a good home. Also, diapers are gross.
  4. Know how to do an honest day’s work and were delivered at home so they wouldn’t be put on some government list the minute they were born.
Your dream home is:
  1. A community dwelling, built with contributed labor and found materials. An ever-evolving lodge that is the spiritual heart of the extended family.
  2. A restored farm house with a big porch and a big pantry and a big garden and a place for the kids and dogs to run. But really anything cleaner than what you currently have would be fine.
  3. A showpiece built of reclaimed barn timber, with a grey-water recycling system and photovoltaic arrays on the roof feeding LED lighting fixtures. Out back the chicken coop would have an edible green roof. The design inovation would get it featured in Home Power Magazine and Fine Homebuilding.
  4. An old Titan missile silo, plenty of room for your stockpile of rice and fresh water, but you know some one would be watching you by satellite.
What are you wearing?
  1. A cruelty-free hemp shirt and some wool socks. Your roommate borrowed your pair of pants, so you’re going without until she gets back.
  2. Jeans the baby peed on, a sweatshirt only a little covered in blackberry juice from your latest foraging, tennis shoes that have seen better days.
  3. A handmade, screen-printed t-shirt you bought off Etsy, Lululemon Groove Pants, and a gardening apron thrown over them to keep the chicken feathers off.
  4. Camo and a flannel button down from Woolworths.

An ideal evening with friends means:
  1. A Beltane fire, homemade mead, grilled veggies from the garden, poetry and the appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. Also probably sex outdoors.
  2. A massive canning party with a few good friends while the kids play down the hall. Nothing beats socializing and getting some good solid domestic work done at the same time.
  3. Not shaving, getting dinner over at the new Vietnamese place with the amazing Bánh khọt, and coming home to pick your own raspberries for dessert.
  4. Long-gun target practice in the back-40!

Okay, now it’s time to self-asess! Look over your answers. Did you answer with:

Mostly 1s? You’re a Commune-dwelling Enviro-greeny! You love living surrounded by like-minded people in an environmentally integrated, holistic intentional community. Your life, politics and home are a fluid holon united in work, play and love. Sometimes you wish you could just eat a damn burger without anyone knowing.

Mostly 2s? You’re a Survivalmentalist Mom! You want to protect what’s yours and you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen, including stockpiling tomatoes, homeschooling the kids, making jam, growing food and field-dressing deer. You love knowing how much you contribute to the family, day-in and day-out. Secretly, you fantasize about getting a retail job in a high-end department store just to “force” you to get indulgences like pedicures.

Mostly 3s? You’re an Urban Homesteader Hipster! You almost certainly live in San Francisco, Portland or Seattle. Probably Portland. You are young, cool and grow your own basil. You support local farmers and don’t eat anything from outside a 100-mile radius of your own backyard. You are plugged-in, tuned-in, and receive a steady rss feed from Mother Jones delivered straight to your iPhone. People twice your age are concerned about how you plan to reconcile $120,000 in student loan debt, a $24,000-a-year job as a CSA delivery person and a $15-a-day organic, shade-grown latte habit.

Mostly 4s? You’re a Zombie-Ready, End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It Prepper! For you it’s not a matter of if, but when, this whole house-of-cards that is our cheap-oil-dependent-modern-society comes crashing down. You know that your diligence and preparations will see you through any disaster or breakdown in the social order and will position you to thrive in a post-transition world. Your compound is fully equipped, your stores are in order and the grid doesn’t even know you exist. You just wish you lived closer to good musical theater. It’s hard to catch a showing of Into The Woods when you actually live way out in the woods.

*All “True Self” identities completely made up.


  1. says

    Hahahaha! Good stuff! I'm a mom, of course my jeans have pee on them. I wish I could invite you to my canning party – I'd share some of my jerky with you! LOL!

  2. says

    Love it! I think I want to be a 4, with a healthy dash of 2, but I'm probably a 3. No kids to pee on the jeans, or acreage of my own (yet), but to be fair(ish), no fancy yoga mat for me either. Now the shade-grown coffee… ahh yes, fill me up.

  3. says

    Fun! Some of them I had NO answer even close… but the rest were 4's with a few 2's thrown in :) Funny to see the stereotypes!

    Oh yes – no answer close on the power goes out one…. Answer, stoke up the fire, grab a good book and a blanket,sit by the window, reading and enjoying the peace and quiet! AHHH! yes!

  4. says

    Oh Erica! This was so funny! I can't wait for my daughter to see it. Between us, the Hermitys are a pretty solid combination of 2 and 4. With a dose of 1 thrown in on my part — my son-in-law can't stand it that I'm a big commie witch. LOL But he loves living here at the commune and enjoying nature.

  5. says

    That. Was. AWESOME. I am most definitely an urban homesteader hipster with some tweaks and maybe some #1 and #2 thrown in there too.. I hardly EVER buy a cup of coffee… It's so expensive!!! Only coffee from my coffee maker here… And I totally laughed out loud about the dog and chickens! We have 3 cats, but did recently get chickens, and they are great! This was totally awesome and made my day!!!

  6. says

    I am SO excited, I am no.2!!! Pedicures no desire, but sometimes I think I should 'upgrade' my nursing skills to include field surgery! That just makes me even more tragic. Just for that, I am going to paint my own toenails today!

    Have to share this one!

  7. says

    very funny.
    you forgot the hidden fifth personality type though, which would only be revealed at the end:
    "If you refuse to choose any of the above answers to describe yourself and situation because you are a self-made renegade and believe that categories only fit onto OTHER people, you are a Calamitous Jane and you'd better go wash the dishes with Joy soap and an old cloth diaper insert/onion bag scrubbie."

  8. says

    Word. I am a combination of 1s and 2s with a couple 4s thrown in.
    And the candles aren't for a meditation group, they're my evening altar candles, eek.

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