RE: Are meals an optional or required work expectation inyour community?
From: Robert (
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 14:49:32 -0800 (PST)
At Eno Commons we have a different cooking arrangement which works for us.


On our system the cooking team does everything.  They plan the meal, they 
purchase the ingredients, they prepare the meal, they serve the meal and they 
clean up.  Granted it is a lot of work but one only needs to serve about once a 
month.  This system is completely separately from the expectation of labor for 
community tasks.  Generally, those who eat are placed on the cooking schedule.  
(Now if life events prevent you from cooking for awhile, just the master 
scheduler and you are not scheduled.  No one monitors.)


Outside of a ban on peanuts in community meals (one of the kids is deadly 
allergic to them) and providing a vegetarian option, the cooks decide to create 
any meal.  Some of the meals may be more meat-centric than the 
vegetarians/vegans may prefer and when the vegetarians/vegans cook there may 
not be an entry with meat.


Oh, another item ... no sign-up sheet.  If you want to come to meal, you come.  
The cooks will make a guessestimate and prepare for that many people.  
Sometimes there are leftovers and sometimes those who arrive late may have slim 
pickings.  Our planning is good enough for us not to want to deal with a 
reservation system.


We also use the 'trust your neighbor' approach to our expectation of labor.  If 
you can contribute on a work day, known to us as Community Dayz and always a 
meal is included, or a task, great.  If your time is a bit crunched and you can 
not contribute during a particular Community Dayz, contribute on the next 
Community Dayz when life is not throwing so many curve balls at you.


Does everyone contribute equally?  No, but we do not expect equality but trust 
our neighbors to make a good faith effort.  Some will always contribute more 
and that is their gift.


We operate more on fewer rules and higher trust.

-Robert Heinich

 Eno Commons

 Durham, NC

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