Good Hope Zambia News June 2023

Dear friends,

You now have the “longest” days and we have the “shortest” with around 11 hours of light. What many people don’t know is the influence of different hours of light per day on plant growth. Various vegetables that grow in Europe cannot cope with the short days here. For example, onion varieties from Europe only produce leaves but no tubers because the days here are too short. For the same reason, our “poinsettias” are now blooming because they need shorter days to bloom. Of course it works here, in Europe they are artificially kept increasingly dark so that they all bloom at Christmas. We haven’t had any ground frost this year, but a thick jacket is appropriate in the morning. At lunchtime it’s 20 to 25 degrees again.

Good Hope Elementary School

Headmaster Joshua Simoongwe will retire at the end of this term. I have spoken to the school authority about the successor and hope that the office will follow our suggestion to promote Petronella Siabasimbi as successor. Petronalla is a very committed teacher (home economics) and has proven herself very well in the past when she had to represent the headmaster.
In order to improve the school’s long-term water supply, we plan to drill for water again in September/October so that we can hopefully become more independent of the farm’s water system. We’re only looking for water here in the middle of the dry season, so that the measurements where to drill don’t show superficial water after a good rainy season, but hopefully find a more productive, albeit deeper, well.

Agricultural school

We are still in the process of restructuring the teaching content in some subjects. We know so much more today about the connection between plants and the soil and the soil microflora than we did 20 years ago. The best agricultural yields worldwide today are achieved by farmers who have “maintained their soil healthily” and now get by with very little or no artificial fertilizer and have almost no pests or plant diseases on their fields. For those of you who are a little more interested in this direction, take a look online for “Jena Diversity Project”. A long-standing testing ground in Jena.
Globally, 70% of food is still produced by small farmers. Especially in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia, these farmers are struggling with increasingly poor soil, which cannot be corrected even with artificial fertilizers. The fertilizer is also very expensive. That’s why we’re shifting the focus in agricultural training.

Germany trip

Now it’s almost time. We are leaving here on July 7th, will be in the Rhine-Main area for the first 2 weeks, then we will head south and finally to Berlin and Dresden from August 10th. We want to be there when our grandson Alexander starts school. We will contact some of you to plan possible meetings

Best regards Your Klaus and Christiane

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