Common Meals B4 Commons House
From: DCS (
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 13:40:40 -0600 (MDT)
Bitner/Stevenson wrote:
> My theory is that groups that build
> their commonhouses afterr move in never really get up to speed in using
> them, because they have already developed other rituals.

You don't have to have a commons house to do it. At Eno Commons, even
though we're still about six months away from a commons house, we've
been having regular Tuesday night dinners for about two years. I won't
go into the history of them, but currently, they rotate among the houses
on site that can handle large crowds and lots of kids. We have cooking
teams of three members that plan, pay for, cook and serve each Tuesday
Night Dinner. The teams are random, and everybody who lives on site
cooks about twice every three months.

There's no doubt in my mind that adding food to our group's life, years
before any of us moved in, greatly increased momentum and cohesion, as
well as satisfying social needs of members. Many people, including many
prospective members, just naturally open up over a good meal. (That was
a marketing hint there...)

I think for groups that don't have a collective valuing of fellowship
through food, the common meal may not ever really catch on, regardless
of the timing of the commons house. For groups that do value sharing
meals (and probably place a high value on just sharing time together),
you can't keep them away from a potluck with a stick.

Christine Della Maggiora
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham NC

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