Re: Scarcity of meal cleaners discussion
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 19:41:23 -0700 (PDT)
This is hard for me to fathom. We have some people would rather not have meals 
than clean 
and other people who would rather not have meals than cook.

We have less than half our cooks who are willing to clean.
About a third of our cleaners are willing to cook.

They are very different skills and very different interests. AND they happen at 
different times of day.

(This from the scheduler who would rather manage hundreds of requests for 
changes than have to get my hands wet than to clean. And who the community 
would rather that I didn't cook.)

Elizabeth Magill

On Jun 25, 2012, at 10:35 PM, David L. Mandel wrote:

> Sounds like a recipe (pardon the pun) for disaster if it can and does easily 
> happen that people cook when no one has signed up to clean. Whether your 
> teams are permanent or ad hoc, If the cooks also clean, then the problem will 
> never occur. It doesn't create more total work, someone who cooks on day X is 
> presumably also available to clean, and it avoids potential grumbling I'd 
> imagine by a cleanup crew about a particularly messy cook group. 
> I guess I have to believe it works in some communities, Of course a meal team 
> could itself decide to divide the labor however it wants, but as a whole I 
> can't imagine any meaningful advantages to separating the functions.
> David
> --- On Sun, 6/24/12, Martha Wagner <wordbizpdx [at]> wrote:
> From: Martha Wagner <wordbizpdx [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Scarcity of meal cleaners discussion
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Sunday, June 24, 2012, 10:55 PM
> Thanks for your reply to my post, David. To explain a bit more about our mea 
> program, ourl head cooks usually sign up to cook several weeks in advance; 
> when I said that  our cook and cleaning teams are not established I meant 
> that they are not a set group of people who always cook or clean together. 
> Cleaners are asked to sign up in advance of the meal but it does not always 
> happen, or only one person shows up when more are needed. People are 
> requested to do a meal task every month, but not required to do so, primarily 
> because we have other work areas requiring many hours of members' time, 
> especially tasks related to our landscaping and food growing. More ideas on 
> how communities handle meal cleaning would be  welcome!
> Martha Wagner
> Columbia Ecovillage
> Portland, OR
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