Re: chicken club, garden club
From: Jeanne Goodman, JP Cohousing (
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 08:05:43 -0700 (PDT)
Dear Lynn,

In JP Cohousing in Boston (where we've started moving in and have only one three-bedroom unit available!) we created an office users group. This "club" paid to have semi-common space designed and fitted out. Part of the space, services and features will be available to the community as community office and meeting room space. The members of the user group will pay a monthly fee. Part of it will go to pay off our loan to the member who fronted the money for the construction and part of it will go to pay the community a smallish condo fee for using the space and electricity and rubbish removal and such.

My recommendation is that the clubs should give back to the community some how to "pay" for the use of at least some of the resources. That might be a space rental fee or some portion of the eggs or where members take on an extra x minutes each of community tasks to thank the community for allowing them to use common space for semi-private activity (even if all are welcome -- it's semi-private if the produce belongs to the members.)

I'm still not certain how the gardening is going to work out. I have always made the same assumption that you made -- the garden and the fruits belong to all of us and only those people who love gardening will take that on as one of their tasks, but I can imagine someone getting grumpy because I took the beet that they had been nurturing for Saturday's dinner.

Just my nearly humble opinion,

Jeanne Goodman
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

----- Original Message ----- From: "Lynn Nadeau" <welcome [at]>

The garden club works like a 10-family CSA - they put in money, pay for
some work and coordinating by a neighbor farmer, and share the produce. I
feel like I would be stealing to go pull a beet. Though it's on common
land, inside a big deer fence that was built with common funds and common
labor. I'd always hoped we'd have a community vegetable garden, and that
would just be some people's job here, and we'd all share in the food.
They point out that anyone can join the garden club.

Can anyone tell us about how the club approach did or didn't build
community (or at least not erode it?) at your place?

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