This article describes the methodological challenges encountered in attempting to undertake research into the agricultural sector in Cuba, and the often serendipitous ways in which these challenges may be overcome. The struggles of numerous Cuban researchers who were attempting to continue their work during the resource-poor Special Period are also described. The article examines the views of Cuban colleagues who have informally, and politely, contested interpretations of the ‘snapshot’ of the farming and food systems that the author documented, and discusses their differing perspectives of ‘the real situation’. The author ends with observations about the book that emerged as an adaptation of the doctoral thesis and how it has become a seminal text not only for students but also for civil society groups working for change toward more sustainable systems that are less dependent on fossil fuels.
- special period