Trees for (ONE)-Namibia

Dec 2, 2022

Have you ever received a Christmas present that you can only utilize after five years? Well, now you have! As a guest of one of our partner accommodations, you are automatically part of our present.

A good basis

If a lemon tree has ideal conditions – for example near the Mediterranean Sea – it can bear fruit in 5 to 7 years. Good conditions also prevail on Ghaub and the cultivation of citrus and fruit trees has started recently.

Climate, geology and location offer Ghaub a good basis for profitable farming. The average annual rainfall in the triangle of the Otavi-Mountains is approximately 700 mm and thus about 20% higher than in the surrounding areas. The same applies to the rain probability. The water collects in the karst rock that is commonly found in this area. On Ghaub, the groundwater flows northwards. There it is dammed by a granite barrier and comes to the surface in the form of four strong springs.

Soil improvement

Ghaub currently generates income from the following activities: tourism, cattle and game farming, vegetable cultivation and hay production. In addition, there are circular irrigation systems used for arable farming, which cover a total of 30 hectares. The irrigation systems are fed from the existing springs.

The land under the irrigation systems had been intensively cultivated for years and soon one problem caused the team at Ghaub a headache – soil compaction. When ploughing, only the top 30-40 cm were worked and maize was planted, a crop that does not root deeply. The layer underneath became hard as a rock and automatically led to soil degradation.

In order to loosen the soil more deeply, 12 ha were tentatively planted with Alfalfa (lucerne) three years ago. Alfalfa is a high-yielding forage plant that roots deeply. Its nitrogen-fixing capacity also improves the performance of agricultural soils. Just a first step for the team at Ghaub.

In order to keep the soils loosened and for the targeted processing of compost and organic material, several thousand earthworms were bought and released in the fields. Earthworms are an important component of a healthy soil structure when it comes to aerating and mixing soils. Here earthworms are important producers of humus and promote a sustainable soil condition. With the worms in mind the team on Ghaub refrains from using artificial fertilizers. Instead: the working in of compost and mulching (covering the soil to prevent it from drying out; also good against frost) is on the daily agenda

400 trees planted

In the past months, a total of 400 trees have been planted on the now re-loosened 12 hectares. These trees range from mandarins, oranges, limes, quinces, persimmons, avocados, apples, macadamias and almonds. A wide range and with increasing experience the team will evaluate in the coming years which trees grow well here and have potential to be expanded. The Lodges of Ghaub and Waterberg Wilderness will be the recipients of the fruits produced on Ghaub – this way, you too can enjoy our Christmas present.

The team of Ghaub is optimistically looking forward to the coming season: “If all goes well, we will plant additional fruit trees next year”. This is the statement of Daniel Shapumba who actively helped with the planting of the trees. We also look forward to the coming year and hope to welcome you as a guest in one of our establishments.

Many thanks for your support.


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