4. Enough to eat

This chapter explores the degree to which people living in Suri in the late 1980s had sufficient, nutritious food to eat – a matter that for some villagers varied through the year. It then compares the situation now, noting that one crop far more commonly cultivated today is the potato.

It is one thing to talk about good or bad harvests when you buy your food in a shop. It is another when you have dug and planted the fields yourself, tended and weeded the crop, and then watched it ripen – especially if you have no ready alternative source of food. This very obvious fact nevertheless struck me forcibly in Suri. I watched the sky as anxiously as other villagers when the rain failed to fall, or fell too much, or hail storms threatened…