Re: Meal Participation
From: Craig Ragland (
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 15:17:31 -0800 (PST)
Hi Andrea, et. al,

Alas, Songaia only has 5/week (but we always have had since 1990). All
participating adults have 1 slot per week, whether it be cooking or
cleaning. From 1990 to 2000, (pre-construction), there were fewer people
living here, so we did 2 slots per week.

The last time I visited Nevada City, I was struck by one particular contrast
that I'd love to hear more about. What I noticed was that Nevada City has
limited food storage and stores very little food. As I understand it from my
tour guide, you have very frequent delivery of food and you don't store any
left-overs. Is this true?

In contrast, Songaia has vast food storage space (3 freezers, 3
refrigerators, and 3 pantries) and actively manages a large inventory with
hundreds of food items available for shared meals and home use. We recently
raised our monthly cost to $120/mo (pays for 5 meals/week with free access
to our food stores for personal use).

All our left-overs are stored until they are all eaten/taken home or until
its clear nobody will do so, then they go to the chickens.

How does the "just-in-time" food deliveries work for Nevada City? Since food
purchased in small quantities is so much more expensive than buying in bulk,
you simply must store some foods, e.g. spices. What do you store?
 Thanks, Craig

P.S. Hope to see you at the 2010 Conference... just yesterday, the
conference team was talking about wanting to have a conference breakout
session on common meals.

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:38 AM, <apierlioni [at]> wrote:

> In Nevada City Cohousing in CA every adult resident is required to take a
> turn on the to cook and clean on each cooking rotation (which is about every
> 5 weeks) regardless of how many meals they actually attend.  They can be at
> the same time or to cook and clean for different meals.  In theory, if
> everyone participates in this program, we will have meals 6 days per week,
> though on weekends, they can be breakfast, lunch or brunch.  We use a
> computerized accounting system which keeps a running tally of how much
> you've spent and how much you've eaten.  Only when you exceed certain
> paramenters (either owing too much or having too much owed to you) does
> money change hands.
> We have a higher max now of up to $6.00 per meal per person to allow for
> purchase of more organic produce or a greater variety of meals.  The only
> challenge here is that not everyone does participate in the program, for a
> variety of reasons, (health, extended absence, refusual, etc) even though
> the participation requirement is made clear from the start.  I guess no
> community or meal system is perfect, but on the whole, ours works pretty
> well most of the time with most of the residents.  I would venture to say
> that our community on average, probably has more common meals offered each
> week than any other with which I am familiar.
> Andrea Carlson
> Nevada City Cohousing, Nevada City, CA
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