We’re basically hobos. Just like everyone really.
Just a couple of humans. Nothing to see here.
Jack is a farmer by day, but lives a secret life as a computer security software engineer. He’s passionate about homebrew, engineering the perfect biscuit and our gigantic wood chipper.
Ashley is a lumberjack by day, and lives anot so secret life as a massage therapist and pilates instructor based in Montpelier, VT. She can also be found tending baby bunnies or planting a permaculture paradise.
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Why Vermont Mango Plantation?
When people learn we homestead, they always immediately ask “Did you grow up on a farm?” as if heredity is the only thing that could explain the desire and know-how to provide for yourself. I want to ask, “Did you grow up in a cubicle?” but it doesn’t seem polite.
Mangoes remind us that there are always trade-offs in life choices. We both love mangoes, and would eat them just about every day given the choice. When we first got together, as with most couples, money was tight. Mangoes cost roughly a dollar each, and it wasn’t long until all value was expressed as a trade-off for mangoes. We could buy that box of strawberries, or we could have 5 whole mangoes instead. Which would you rather have, a box of strawberries or 5 mangoes?
Mangoes became a good proxy for realizing that everything you buy has a cost, and any choice implies a trade-off. If you make $10 per hour at your desk job, you’re trading that hour of your life for $10, or in our math, 10 mangoes. Is that hour of your life worth 10 mangoes? One can only eat so many mangoes, and at some point, that hour of your life becomes more valuable.
It turns out, one doesn’t really need that many many mangoes, and while mangoes are a renewable resource, every hour of your life is an hour that will never come again. Perhaps we should quit trading our lives for mangoes, and learn to grow our own.
Thus began our homesteading adventure, and the Vermont Mango Plantation was formed.