Here is my review of Jonathan White’s product called Food4Wealth. Jonathan has over 20 years of experience as an environmental scientist and horticulturalist. He claims that if you follow his program in the form of an eBook and related videos you can save up to $5,000 per year, and that may indeed turn out to be Food4Wealth if it holds true.
The product consists of an 80 page eBook, a project plan, and videos with a total length of approx. 60 minutes:
- Dimensions: 8:24
- Creating a Frame: 3:07
- What Goes in the Frame: 7:53
- Putting up a climbing frame for peas and beans: 2:03
- Adapting your existing vegetable garden: 2:12
- Composting: 4:46
- Planting out your Plot: 5:07
- Planting a Seedling: 2:25
- Self Seeding: 4:11
- Maintenance: 5:10
- Seasons: 6:52
- Potato Beds: 3:16
- Mini Food 4 Wealth Plot: 2:58
- Food 4 Wealth Fruit Farm: 5:20
I paid $39.97 for the Food4Wealth product.
How does Food4Wealth work
It is truly unbelievably simple, which Jonathan points out himself, but he says it should not keep one from using the system. He says that there are probably many within the profession who would reject it compared to the traditional orthodox horticulture, which he says is about solving problems. Food4wealth is different in the way that you build a system from scratch, which is in a position to solve its own problems, like an untouched natural ecosystem does. He uses the example of a rainforest. In such a system there will always be great diversity unlike traditional monocultures. And it is exactly this diversity that protects the system, for example when he plants various plants close to one another. A single lettuce head next to a single tomato plant, etc. It reminds me of what I do in my raised beds where I plant a row of one type of vegetable, and the next row is then a second type of vegetable, but Jonathan then takes the idea further to the extreme where all vegetables are mixed together in one big mishmash. Another important aspect of the system is that it also takes care of the sowing itself, i.e. self-seeding. After some years there will be so many seeds dormant in the bed that every spot is filled by vegetable plants and weeds will not have a chance. As he says, nature does not allow empty niches. They will gradually be filled by the right plants in the right place at the right time. A bonus that comes with this diversity is that pests are totally confused because they cannot find their desired plant in this jumble. All of this makes sense and the claim is that it works and you can harvest something from the garden every day.
An important part of the system is that the soil is disturbed as little as possible because digging dries out the soil, so one of his golden rules here says that the soil must never be left bare. Digging disrupts the system and the first plants that show up to restore balance are the weeds, which we do not want in our gardens. Weeds are the ultimate niche fillers. So it’s all about constantly covering bare soil with compost, which you produce yourself, if you follow the system. Many books have been written about composting, so that’s not something new here. But yes, it is clearly a natural thing to do to make it yourself out of kitchen scraps.
The less bare soil you have, the less it dries out and the less you will need to water. So – be generous with the compost at all times. And here is another thing which is somewhat new to me. He even recommends that compost contains the seeds of wilted plants. I have been accustomed to removing seeds from the things I put on the compost, but it’s logical when you think about it – but only the correct seeds, so they can sow themselves. Then you even save money on seeds. This system is very much about freedom.
The system is built entirely from scratch, for example on top of existing lawn. It doesn’t matter. You put these layers in a wooden frame or another kind of frame:
As the years go by you constantly fill empty spots with compost, and the small ecosystem takes care of itself and live its own life. If you take good care of it, it will take good care of you, in the form of fine vegetables.
He talks about summer crops and winter crops, and recommends a few kinds of vegetables as being more than enough to provide for you and your family:
- Swiss Chard (Silverbeet)
- Spring Onions
- Snow Peas
He claims that the system can be maintained with only 8 hours of light work – per year! I actually believe him, and the project plan also shows why it could be true.
What I like about Food4Wealth
* Jonathan White has a great energy and enthusiasm and I cannot help but get moved by it. He’s like, “come on now, let’s change the world for the better, and here’s how we’re going to do it – you know it works, right?”, and he is convincing in his explanations. He has spent much of his childhood in the Australian bush, and it seems like he has either talent or intuition on how things fit together in the small ecosystems that he talks about in Food4Wealth. All of this also results in a convincing sales page, which probably sells a lot.
* The fact that he makes use of video as much as he does works quite well, rather than simply using an eBook. For me personally it’s easier to remember key points when I’ve seen a video. There’s more bandwidth, and more information coming through.
* I like that the system is so simple and I just sit back and nod, of course, of course; it seems very smooth, intuitively and sustainable. The fact that he provides plant lists and a project plan is quite good because you can quickly get started without knowing very much about how and why the system works. He is well structured and organized, and that he emphasizes on getting away from control and instead move toward freedom gets a big plus in my book.
What I DON’T like about Food4Wealth
* Sometimes he acts a bit over the edge because he’s so excited about this. It sometimes makes his videos a bit too ‘new-age, peace, hugs and love’ according to my taste. It’s okay, but I just know that I react to it and it interrupts my learning process.
* Another thing that is annoying is the sound volume in the videos, which are blown up when the jingles are played, and turned down when he speaks. And there are many jingles in the videos. It would be nice to get the volume normalized through an entire video, so you don’t have to turn the volume up and down all the time. His “studio” seems quite small and it would be nice to see more space around him. It seems crammed.
* He mentions that you can use railway sleepers to create frames for the beds, but it is certainly not something you would do in my area, as they are treated with some very toxic substances. It may be that it’s a different situation elsewhere in the world or that I have misunderstood what he says about this.
* He treats potatoes a bit different within the system, but still as part of the system. I don’t understand why he doesn’t let them take care of themselves with self-seeding instead of using the traditional method, where you save some of your harvest for next year, which will then be clones, and therefore not adapted to the ever changing conditions in the local area. Volunteer potatoes have new and different genes and are therefore hopefully more robust and adapted.
* A general issue related to the purchase of the product is that a relatively substantial tax sneaked into the purchase, which I could not see immediately. I should probably have dug in and read some of the fine print.
Who should buy Food4Wealth
I think it’s best to build the system from scratch, even though Jonathan also tells how to adapt your existing garden to the new system. I would start from scratch with a clean slate, if I decided to try it out. And when you start from scratch then everybody can actually do it, because the product describes the entire system, i.e. the design, construction and maintenance. And since it is quite detailed, I believe very little experience in horticulture is required to get started and succeed. I’m not new to the vegetable garden but I would allocate a piece of lawn for the project if I were to try it out, and then follow the instructions to the letter. The reason I will not begin such a project right away is that I have moved to a rented piece of land where I do not plan to stay for several years, and that is exactly what the system requires, that it will need some years to find a balance with high soil quality and sustainable self-seeding. But the idea of mixing the vegetables completely to confuse pests and the idea of self-seeding is something I might test in a dedicated raised bed.
You can buy Food4Wealth here.