Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 102, Issue 33
From: Sandy Thomson (
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 11:00:53 -0700 (PDT)
Sandy from Heartwood Cohousing here.  We had basically the same problem after 
10 years of a totally volunteer system.  Here is what we came up with and it is 
working beautifully.
I put up a rotation every 6-7 weeks depending on how many people are 
participating.  Then at the end of two weeks I take it down fill in the blanks 
and post the next 6-7 week schedule.
here is the policy:
Every 6-7 weeks we have a new sign up for the common meal work rotation here is 
the policy:

Common Meal Participation System
Please sign up for any two slots per adults. Teens (13 and older) may add their 
name to any day or choose to fill a slot by cooking (only one slot required for 
If you switch with someone or cook for them be sure to indicated on this sheet.
If you do not sign up by the specified date you will be assigned a spot and 
will be responsible for finding a replacement if you are unable to fulfill your 

If you do not plan on eating more than once a month at the common meals you are 
exempt from the rotation but you need to tell Sandy ahead of time, preferably 
before the new rotation sign up sheets go up or at least before the new 
rotation is posted.

If you have any questions or think you will be unable to meet this requirement 
please let me know and we can work something out.

On Jul 31, 2012, at 4:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

> Help!   My cohousing community has 26 households, and about 50 adults.   We 
> have a policy expecting everyone to cook once per month, in groups of two or 
> more, and we have done pretty well for many years.   In the last couple of 
> years, thought, I have noticed a decline in the number of people cooking, and 
> currently we have very few meals.   We have a Meals Committee that has done 
> surveys, tried out different things (potlucks, etc.), but the number of meals 
> continues to decline.   Our participation in general is not as strong as it 
> could be.   Has anyone dealt with a meals issue as above, and what have they 
> done about it?
> I have a radical idea, which is to add $50 per month per adult to the monthly 
> dues, and people would get money back at the end of the year based on any 
> activity they have done that contributes to our community.   People would 
> have to keep rough track of what they do, and time spent.   I think it might 
> encourage participation, and reward those who are working.   Also, might 
> result in leftover funds, which we could use to reduce our monthly dues.   
> Any thoughts?   Sincerely, Laurie Friedman

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