"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday 27 April 2012

The power lies in your hands

If, by any chance, you do not recycle, because:

1  You can't be bothered to separate your garbage
2  You don't have a recycling pick-up service in your area
3  You don't think that you generate enough recycling to drop it off yourselves at the local recycling depot
4  If it goes in your dustbin / garbage bin it's "out of sight, and out of mind"
5  The amount of recycling you / your family produces isn't going to make any difference
6  Landfills have been created to hold your all garbage...

...you may just want to change your mindset.  Especially if you have small children.  Even if you don't care about this planet.  Even if you think you can't make a difference.

Because, if you feed your children any type of seafood, you may actually be inadvertently contributing to poisoning them.  Fresh fish for battering and frying, or grilling, or making into a fish soup or stew or fish cakes, ready-made frozen fish fingers, crumbed / battered / in a ready made sauce (loaded with additives, but I won't go into that now).  tinned sardines, pilchards, tuna.  Any which way you buy / prepare or eat fish.

Click on this link, and find out why you should, perhaps, change your ways. For continued life on this planet depends on the effort that each and every one of us makes.  It's no longer only the habit and responsibility of the greenies.  The odd-one's who live next door.  The eco-minded souls who are trying to do their bit.

It is NOW the responsibility of each and every inhabitant of this planet who purchases any goods from their local store / chain / fast food outlet where those goods are purchased in recyclable packaging. 

It's not difficult to separate your recycling from the garbage.  Seriously, it's not.

I have two stainless steel bowls on my kitchen counter top, next to my sink.

On the right is the compost scraps bowl, and on the
right is my recycling bowl
The bowl on the left, with the lid, is my compost bowl.  The one on the right is my recycling bowl.  When the recycling bowl is full, it gets taken to the garage where the contents get dumped into recycled garbage bag lined receptacles whose contents are clearly stated.
The recycling bowl gets emptied into these bags
You don't have to buy such specific receptacles - any old container / bucket will do, as long as it's large enough to contain your weekly recycling garbage and it's sole purpose in life is to store your recycling until you either shove it, in it's garbage bag, outside on your pavement for the weekly pick-up, or you take it to the local recycling depot yourself.

If you haven't recycled before, do you want to change your mind now?

Knowing that you could be poisoning yourselves and your children?

What is the point of growing your own chemical free fruit and vegetables, or rearing your own chickens / goats / pigs / cows and producing your own milk,  butter, cheese and yoghurt, and baking your own bread, in order to avoid the chemical additives of shop bought produce, if, ultimately you are doing more damage to your families by feeding them (poisoned) fish.  And what of the effects the polluted waters in our oceans are having upon the vast diversity of inhabitants therein.  Disrupting that precious cycle could be the end of this world as we see / live / experience it today.

It's not too late to change.  Go on - organize a recycling bucket or two, and fill, and empty, it responsibly every week.  Be an example to your children and teach them the way forward.  They won't know if you don't show them.  And let them be a part of it - there's no reason why they shouldn't participate in taking the kitchen container to the recycling bin in your back yard / garage every day.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Creating memories

I am so excited that MKid is going to be living just "over the field" from us come the end of this year.

And I have a secret planned for him...
A secret door leading to where,
and lived in by whom...
... and I think on one of our trips to the farm before they move down will be the perfect time to create this memory.

I saw this on Rachael's blog and thought it was a wonderful idea.  If it works out, then I hope the memory of this will live in his mind for many, many years. I would've loved to have found something like this that stirred my imagination when I was his age.  Nothing better than allowing a child free range of thought - especially in today's world where everything is instant result and instant gratification.  I reckon it's of paramount importance that a child exercises their brain in other ways than through electronic stimulation - which is the current pathetic situation for today's young 'uns.

But he's a good kid - the best in fact - I know - I'm biased :)  And like his Nana, and his mother, he loves reading.  

No, I don't have any old, gnarled and twisted oak trees on the farm - just an alien Australian Black Wattle down by the dam.

But, I think, with a bit of ingenuity, it could work.

We have plenty of scrap wood for the door, and I will be taking a bit of pewter along to fashion into hinges.  Perhaps I can use a paper tack as a handle...?

If it works I will post a pic for you.

I wonder how many times he's going to visit it to see if there are any visible signs of any inhabitant...

Monday 23 April 2012

Bits and pieces

Boring I know, but I also managed to harvest yet more swiss chard over the Easter Weekend.  Wow, I now have so much parceled up in the freezer - we certainly won't be running out this winter.  Spinach soup, spanokopita (hopefully cooked in the Dover stove) spinach omelettes, creamed spinach - yummy, another firm favourite vegetable that even RMan will eat.
Yet more swiss chard ready for harvesting
I had previously harvested the only pumpkin off a withered stalk and I was delighted to find another one - growing on the last plant I left in situ "just in case".  I'm not sure if it's going to gain much bulk as I fear it is too late in the season - I'll have to wait and see.
A baby pumpkin lay hidden - waiting to surprise
and delight me :)
You recall we left our potted Christmas tree behind in our town garden, and that we had to purchase a pomegranate tree from a local nursery in order to use it as a Christmas tree.
The pomegranate tree we used as a
Christmas tree
Well, before we left the farm in January we planted them, ensuring that they were watered via the timed irrigation hose.  One of the trees had had three small pomegranates hanging from some branches.  At Easter they were ripe, so we picked one.
Our first pomegranate fruit
To give you a sense of proportion, the fruit we picked was the size of two of my hands loosely cupped together (roughly 8 - 10cms diameter).  We cracked it open and delved into it's deliciousness.
All those arils (seeds)with their delicious juice are
carefully stored in different protective
compartments within the fruit
Pomegranates are delicious in a salad (a green or fruit salad), added as a garnish to meals, as an ice cream topping or squeezed for their juice.  Pomegranate juice can also be made into a syrup and used as a cordial, or added to sauces / gravies.  Dried pomegranate arils (seeds) can be used in granola bars.

A single pomegranate with a 10cm (4") diameter (weighing approx. 280 gms) has a high anti-oxidant content and is also high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K - the latter being essential for the proper absorption of calcium - obtained either from your diet or when taken as a supplement.
The fruit from one pomegranate - we shared it
between us :)
The other two fruits were too ripe and had cracked open.  So I scooped out the seed, rinsed and dried them off and set them aside.  I will and try and grow a couple more pomegranate trees next spring :)

RMan and I are very encouraged to finally be reaping some "fruits of our labour".  I have so many ideas of what I want to do, especially with the lemons and pomegranates - I can hardly wait for them to produce more fruit...

By the way, I am unable to post in the new Blogger GUI - I finally thought of, and have changed back to the old Blogger GUI to post this.  I have reported it, but, if the Old Blogger should fail, then I fear you are going to have silence from me until the problem is resolved.

Saturday 21 April 2012


Continuing the introduction of new friends to old friends, please won't you join me in welcoming two new friends.

Firstly, welcome to Gerhard van Zyl - he does not appear to have a blog yet, but is, I'm guessing, from South Africa.
Secondly, please also welcome Redloon.  Judging by her gravatar she enjoys knitting.  Redloon describes herself as being: "5ft 6 inches tall, half Pakastani / half Lebanese, her eyes are hazel and she has light coloured skin.  She is addicted to crochet work and loves cooking and travelling."

Gerhard and Redloon, thank you for following my blog.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, if I am on the farm it may take a little longer...LOL

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Last of this harvest

I still had more tomatoes to harvest on our Easter weekend visit.  I had enough tomatoes to make "Robyn's Tomato Jam" - so called because the recipe I used is courtesy of Robyn from Stitchin Time - bless you Robyn :)
If you click on the image you'll see I still had
plenty of tomatoes to harvest

But I was not going to schlep them back to the town house in order to do the preserving.  Because I knew we were going to be there for four days I had used my head and I took along my 15lt pot, and some preserving jars - and even though I knew that using the solar oven would be a no-no, I figured I would cook them "somehow"...
Using wood harvested from alien trees, we fired up
the wood burning Dover stove for the first time
this winter - here I have the kettle permanently
on the boil, jars and lids being sterilized in the
black pot, and the tomato jam cooking on the
back left hand plate.  And we were heating the
room at the same time - I just love it!
That "somehow" was perfect.  Due to the damp, inclement weather we fired up our Dover stove and the pot was placed on the hottest point.
Making tomato jam
It merrily bubbled away until it achieved setting point, a pinch of salt was added, and it was quickly placed into sterilized jars.
Tomato jam in jars ready for sealing
A circle of wax paper covered the top, the rims were wiped clean, and the jars were sealed.

RMan couldn't wait.  That night he had some "tomato jam" with his roast chicken (Lynda Brown's "The Preserving Book" says that you can serve tomato jam with cheese, burgers and sausages so why not roast chicken), and the next morning he had some more on his toast at breakfast time.

And, yes, Teach, I did make you a jar too :) (providing RMan doesn't eat it before we synchronize our visits again).

The recipe for tomato jam that Robyn sent me is:

A knob of butter
1.5 kgs (3 lbs) firm, red tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I had 3.0 - 3.5kgs so I doubled the recipe)
1.5kgs (3 lbs) sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
sliced peel (including the pith) from 1 X lemon
pinch of salt

1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mixed herbs

Butter a large saucepan.
Add the tomatoes and sugar.  Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the lemon juice and peel with has been tied in a muslin bag.  (If using add the chilli flakes and mixed herbs)
Boil quickly until setting point is reached.  Stir in the salt and immediately remove from the heat.
Remove the bag of peel, cool the jam and pour into hot sterilized jars.
Cover and seal.

Makes 4 - 5 X 500gm (1 lb) jars

Nil, Nada, Zero grid power was used in making this jam as we consumed the wood from undesirable, alien trees whilst I preserved yet more excess produce from my shadecloth veggie patch - what could be better or more satisfying?
Left to right:
Sundried tomatoes in oil, tomato jam, whole cocktail
tomatoes and tomato soup.
I harvested enough tomatoes from our veggie patch to...

6 - 7 kgs with various neighbours;
and produce:
16 X 300gm bags of peeled, finely chopped tomatoes (for sauces) which I'm storing in my freezer;
6 litres of tomato soup;
6 jars of whole preserved cocktail tomatoes;
2 X 1 lt and 5 X 500ml jars of tomato jam;
3 bottles of tomato ketchup;
and 4 jars of sundried tomatoes in oil.

And, in addition, I have cooked at least 3 - 4 meals a week using tomatoes in some form or another and we have had our fill of fresh tomatoes in salads all summer long :) Now, I ask you, who could ask for more?

Monday 16 April 2012

Easter on the farm - part 2

On Saturday night I cooked our dinner on the small stove we removed from the caravan and which we have installed in our kitchen area.  Rain is not conducive to braai-ing (barbecue-ing) nor does it make solar cooking viable LOL
The small LPG stove from the caravan
We had both spent the day outside - apart from the 2 hour sprinkle from the heavens above which produced 7mm.  The cold front certainly brought a drop in temperature – most welcome (at least to this Limey) after the heat of summer.
12 volt car radio - perfect for providing music /
news when necessary
As we sat at the table after dinner, which was eaten in the glow provided by the paraffin (kerosene) lamps and after washing up, RMan listened to the rugby (via our 12volt car radio).  Feeling gemütlich (cosy and warm) and both with full tummies, I started reflecting on our journey thus far.

My conclusion?  Life is good.  Very, very good :)

When we purchased our plot in March 2008 we purchased it as a form of
insurance – RMan was fed up with actual insurance companies, and their
so-called performance.  We believed that removing our hard earned funds from their sticky fingers and putting whatever we had to spare into a piece of land would, ultimately, bring us a better return.
The plot when were purchased it - empty, overgrazed
 and with a single small tree - but a view to die for
Little did we know that a "bug" would grab us firmly with both hands.  We initially had just a piece of land - just over 2 Ha in extent.  That was all it was then.
The amazing view from the plot
But, slowly, we decided that perhaps we should have a small weekend structure on it.  A weekend getaway place which would allow us to visit our investment.
Caravan on the plot
So we found, and purchased, a small, old, 2nd hand caravan which we schlepped up to the “farm” as we now called it.  Then we discovered that during the overpowering heat of mid-summer and the freezing cold of mid-winter, the caravan wasn’t really adequate.  Nor was it big enough to accommodate our son, daughter and grandson – and naturally we had to, and wanted to, share our new found pleasure with them.

We decided to build a small house.   However, I insisted that as we were doing it from scratch I would like to do it properly – in as eco-friendly a manner as we could, utilizing as many locally produced and recycled materials as possible.  Thankfully, RMan came on board with my dream.
Phase 1 of the build using locally manufactured
clay bricks, clad in high lime render, double
glazed windows, recycled plastic roof tiles
and (alien) wood burning stove 
We've learnt many lessons during the course of the build - how to lay water mains pipe in a ditch leading from the roadside 200mtrs away to our future structure site, the importance of correctly siting foundations, throwing floor slabs, erecting roofing and installing the roof tiles (thanks RSon :) ), lime plastering and base-coat painting, installing plumbing and electrical wiring, how to handle the wet, sticky clay in winter... the list is endless.  It may still not be painted, and many things have yet to be completed.  But, gratefully, the small unfinished structure we have is far better than a caravan, or tent. It has a roof (with a ceiling) to keep out the draughts, dust and rain in winter, as well as offer us some welcome coolness and shade in summer.   We can comfortably cook indoors or out.  And we have a hot shower to wash off the dust / mud at the end of the day.  As well as a fully-functioning bathroom.
Vegetables growing in the shade cloth veggie hut
We have discovered that we can grow some of our food requirements.  That will improve / expand once we’re there full time.  But I’m seriously impressed at what has been produced in the shade cloth veggie patch given the lack of (human) TLC / interference.

We currently have three solar panels and 4 X 130Ah Deep Cycle batteries, and, that Saturday night, after 3 days of overcast, wet weather their charge was not optimal.  I had to make a decision – to switch on the extra side lamp in our single big “room” or do I allow the camera to charge?  No contest – the extra light is superfluous – we have plenty of candles and paraffin lamps - and the camera is recording our journey – every hurdle, (pleasant or unpleasant) surprise, elated moment, every step backwards and our definite and exciting progress forwards.

The build so far.  Phase 2 is in the pipeline...
So, as much as our “farmhouse” is a work in progress, and still has many unfinished projects and shortages of “familiar comforts”, it is, in the grand scheme of things, more than adequate for a comfortable existence. And, considering what the majority of our fellow South African’s have to call “home” we are very fortunate!

We have learnt to be very comfortable with less than we are used to, not least because we have come to realize that “all the trappings” are inhibiting, restricting, and, if I’m completely honest, unnecessary. We can, and are, content with making do with less than is required “necessary” ("time-saving", power-consuming electrical appliances, air-conditioning, the latest gadgets and tablet computers, fancy kitchens and bathrooms, expertly installed gardens and professional impersonal home decor, etc.) by the majority of the First World.  Makes you think and wonder how much of our “necessary” comfort these days is engineered, and dictated to, by large corporations and their advertising agencies, or by competing with the Jones's next door?

Once we sell our town house, all we are aiming for is to move to our farm, grow substantially more of our vegetable requirements (well, I reckon I've had enough practice LOL), complete Phase 2 (two upstairs and one downstairs bedrooms), install a small VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine) to boost our power supply during the wet, overcast winter days, and have enough batteries to adequately store the solar and wind power to comfortably run our freezer, some lights, charge cell phones / torch batteries, the radio (and eventual TV) and the computer - and that's it. Wherever possible house / kitchen / garden aids will be hand operated (RMan's ride-on mower is permitted as it's 100% necessary for providing substantial firebreaks and removing potential snake hiding places LOL).  You all know that there is nothing better, nor as grounding, as getting your hands dirty, and putting some (ALL) of yourself into what you are going to be getting back in return.  And, any new item which enters this home in the future will be vetted for it's genuine necessity factor, and it's (ecologically based) journey from manufacture to purchase will be carefully scrutinized.

Simplicity is more than enough…

Sunday 15 April 2012


I finally found an english version of the GASLAND documentary on YouTube.

And so I appeal to all South Africans who follow my blog, to please watch this movie.  If it doesn't shake the apathy you may be experiencing concerning Fracking in the Karroo, then nothing will?!

Yes, it is 1 hour, 42 minutes and 51 seconds long.

Yes, in South Africa, even with an ADSL line, it will take longer than that to watch because you have to allow for the download time.  But, YES, it is worth every minute that you sit in front of your screen.

Gather the (young) family round and let them learn, by example, how not to behave when they are adults.  If nothing else it will teach them to be responsible for the decisions and actions that they take / make later in their lives, especially if they hold positions of power.  For it will clearly show them the ramifications of that abuse of power.

They deserve to experience both sides of the coin, without the pun.  And to learn what greed is doing to our planet.


And, after watching the movie, please sign the two petitions on my blog.  And ask your friends to sign it too.  And your parents.  And your neighbours.  Ask anyone you can think of to sign the petition.

Add your voice in order that it may be heard.

Please.  Please.  Please...!

Friday 13 April 2012

Easter on the farm - Part 1

My apologies for my silence this past week - I have been feeling terribly despondent concerning the non-sale of our town house.  10 months, 40-odd viewers, and not a single offer...  I know I can't hurry the process, and have to remain optimistic and patient, but it's difficult and it caused my writing mojo to temporarily desert me.... LOL

You recall my telling you about the ant problem we had, as well as the enormous cutworms.  And I also mentioned that we had purchased compost and left it in the hole we have dug for our future cellar.  We deposited it there because we didn't want the wind to blow it away before we could use it.

Well, we had rain - lots of rain... 100mm in the last month, and it continued whilst we were there over the Easter Weekend.  Brilliant!  And, naturally, the rain filled the compost-filled-cellar hole.

This is the sight which greeted me...
Can you see all the cutworm which have drowned - who
knows how many more are below the surface?  That's a
hectic number of destructive insects!
Now, I realize that a lot of the goodness will have been washed out of the compost.  But, the fact that all the cutworm residing in the compost have been eliminated is, in my book, a huge plus!  The compost will still retain it's water-absorbing qualities, and I can always add some Talborne Organics to supplement the nutrients which have been washed out.

As we were doing our regular "on-arrival inspection" of the property RMan noticed what looked like dog-doo in one of the new flowerbeds which I had made on either side of the front steps.  On closer inspection we discovered that it was actually owl cast or pellets.
If you look closely you can clearly see the jaw bone
of a rodent - mouse or rat I don't  know. But I'm
loving the existence of this pest controller :)
Owl cast is made of the left over material which the owl hasn't digested after consuming it's meal (bones, fur, etc), and which it expels through it's mouth.  Judging from the size of this cast is is not a small owl...!

I love this eco-friendly pest controller - and in fact, RMan and I had already made a decision that as soon as we could afford it we were going to purchase an owl nesting box, and a bat house :)  Knowing that there are owls about, I reckon we had better get one sooner, rather than later...

They (I'm hoping that there are more than one) need to made to feel at home a.s.a.p.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Earth Hour Meal

Last Saturday evening we celebrated Earth Hour from 8.30 - 9.30 p.m.

I decided to stick with the pea soup that I had planned.  So on Friday night I placed a cup and a half of split peas to soak in a pot overnight.
The next morning I peeled two large carrots, and a potato, and after dicing them, I added them to the pot with the rinsed soaked split peas.
Adding a couple of cups of boiling water, some crushed garlic and chopped mixed herbs I placed them on the stove to boil for 15 - 20 minutes.  Do not add any salt at this stage - otherwise your pea's will not soften.
Then I placed a lid on top and quickly popped the pot into the old toy box filled with shredded paper.  The pot was then covered with an old pillow-slip filled with more shredded paper.
They merrily cooked away until 4.30 that afternoon - a total of 9 hours in the hay box.  I returned the pot to the stove, and after boiling it again for 10 - 15 minutes I pulled out the potato masher.  Squishing and squelching, the vegetables gave in to the pressure from above. I didn't use a blender to blitz it smooth because we like quite a coarse soup - makes you feel like you actually eaten something, as opposed to just slurping down a meal.  
Taste for seasoning, add a swirl of cream and serve with a fresh roll or two - an easy, low fuel meal which is filling, satisfying and delicious :)
Hard to believe that a few years ago, whenever we felt like pea soup, I used to leave a pot simmering on the stove for hours.  What a waste of power.  It feels good that no grid power whatsoever was used in the production of this meal - erm - apart from the rolls.  And it was eaten by candlelight.

We are hoping to go to the farm tomorrow morning for the Easter weekend - we have a chimney to seal before anymore rain drips onto, and into, my Dover stove.  If you don't hear from me - that is where we are.  I'll catch up with you all again next week.

Happy Easter - if you're venturing onto the roads, drive safely, and take care :)

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Speedy report back at snails pace

My apologies for not replying to your comments until today - the entire area's internet has been down since Sunday lunchtime...

On Friday last week I posted about using used coffee grounds to deter garden pests.


They work!  They definitely work against snails and slugs.

And I have proof!

It rained over the weekend, and that always brings the snails out for a forage of my seedlings - summer and winter - our snails don't take a break in winter, unfortunately.

T'was late at night when I hopped outside to see if the coffee grounds were working.  Picture me - standing there in the rain, with my jersey over my head (well, I had just washed my hair, and rain + freshly washed hair = frizz), camera in one hand and torch in the other...

I immediately I spotted two snails on my SIP's (sub-irrigated planters).  (I'm having to grow my town veg and salads in them as the roots from our neighbours trees have become so totally invasive.)

I was entranced.

Forget the rain - forget the hair.  All I was worried about at that stage was whether the batteries in my camera and torch would last.

Both these these fellows had had a sample of what lay in their path ahead, and it would appear that neither of them liked it too much.
Snail # 1 making a u-turn
 They both had a brief visit before scarpering off quickly.
Snail # 2 also turning round to
escape the coffee grounds
 This little guy was braver, he went a little further...
But he still turned round hee hee 
 ... right across the whole box.  But...
Nope - not interested in munching anything
... he didn't sample a single broad bean nor pea seedling.  Not One!

I have a couple of pots on my back patio (my winter nursery area) which contain more pea seedlings.  I decided to play devil's advocate.

There was a juicy looking snail making it's way towards the pots.  I plucked him off and shoved him into the pot - on the coffee grounds laden soil and amongst the peas.
Aren't I nasty - but it was all in the name
of my experiment, and no snail was harmed
in the course of it
 He toddled around briefly, investigating this and that...
Will he or won't he take a munch?
 ... before making a bee line (or should that be a muscous snail line) towards the pot edge.
Lemme outta here!
 He couldn't wait to escape the coffee grounds!
Another one lives to be frog / tabakrolletjie food
On inspection the next morning, NOT one single seedling had been munched. Not one!  And- today there is still no sign of any damage - 4 days later! Whooooopeeeeeeeee!

So - used coffee grounds definitely work on keeping snails at bay.  Stay tuned till after the Easter weekend to find out if it works on the ants....

Sunday 1 April 2012


Which would you rather have in your "backyard"?

This - which fills our earth, air and water with pollutants?
An example of the visible result of fracking on
the land and the environment - below ground - 

you don't want to see, or know.
Or this?
The SKA radio telescope
image source: 21stcentury.blogspot
The latter will provide information of this planets past, on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the future well being of this entire planet and all it's inhabitants?

If we are given the honour of hosting the SKA (Square Kilometer Array) radio telescope - the world's largest telescope - it will provide hundreds of millions in revenue for the country.  Hundred of millions of clean, greener revenue.  And, best of all, the site integrity is guaranteed.  

South Africa is the ultimate site for the SKA 

  • Our superb radio-quiet environment is legally protected
  • We offer the best value; most affordable option and maximum return on investment
  • We have excellent infrastructure already in place
  • Our climate and altitude match the SKA requirements perfectly
  • Our industries and expertise are world-class
  • We've proven we can do it - KAT-7 telescope already in place and working
  • Our innovative, cutting-edge pathfinder - 64-dish MeerKAT - is under construction
  • South Africa's government is totally committed to the SKA
  • We have the full support of our African partners
  • We have partners around the globe
  • We are developing future capacity across the continent
  • Our history of leading astronomy research goes back more than 200 years

Hosting the SKA will allow this country the opportunity of preserving the historical and anthropological specimens of the site for future generations.  Bursaries and scholarships are on offer.  And it will generate genuine local employment, and the sorely needed return / influx, and retention, of a highly skilled workforce.

Other benefits of the proposed SKA South Africa site include:

And, furthermore, it will not only benefit this country, but Africa as a whole, for the array will be scattered over thousands of kilometers.

image source:

But - seems like our government is busy, yet again.  For they want it all.  

image source:

"Hosting the SKA will underscore Africa's capability in science and innovation... " says South African President Jacob Zuma.

Unfortunately, it's one or the other.  SKA or fracking?  And I'm talking to all you guys in "power" - all those elected officials who now need to prove they are worthy of holding those positions. 
The distance between the proposed core of the SKA
and the "Treasure the Karoo"

anti-fracking action group - 255kms!
* "...very little (light) pollution" and "... no conflicting economic activities".  Have you forgotten this?  For you can't have both.  Either you offer the SKA site as it is now - an historically rich, pristine and unpolluted Karoo, or you offer this precious site as a source of future massive pollution.  It's your choice!

Can you look to the future - long term - or is your shortsightedness going to be financially motivated?

Do the right thing.  For the sake of this planet, and for all our children's children...

... DO the right thing.