Re: Common meals - mandatory participation?
From: Malcolm Eva (malcolmmalcolmeva.plus.com)
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 05:45:42 -0700 (PDT)
At Springhill, UK our rule is that every resident over 18 spends one shift a 
month on a cooking team, but there is no compulsion on anyone to eat 
communally.  The cooking rotas are published at the beginning of each term 
(usually 10 weeks), so if anyone knows they will be away they can arrange a 
substitute, or occasionally pay a teenager to do their shift for them.  I don't 
know what the going rate is. 

Our meals are reckoned to be a core communal activity, and some new residents 
have said that they got to know people here mainly through sharing the cooking 
duties with them.

People sign up for the meals at the beginning of the week, so that those 
responsible for organising food supplies know how much to buy in, and every 
household pays in advance for their meals on a monthly basis, so that there is 
always cash to pay the suppliers available.

Malcolm


Sent from my iPad
If reply needed, please address to malcolm [at] m-eva.co.uk

> On 1 Aug 2014, at 02:26, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at] vt.edu> wrote:
> 
> 
> Common meal participation is voluntary here. We put out a Meals Teams
> signup calendar 4 times a year for the next 3-month rotation, calling for 3
> cooks and 4 cleaners for the Sunday night prepared meals, and 2 cleaners
> for the midweek and one-Sunday-a-month potluck dinners (with adjustments
> for some holidays and special events), and send out notes asking folks to
> please (please!) sign up.
> 
> Someone transfers all the meals teams info from the paper signup sheet to
> our community e-calendar, and once a week a message is auto-generated to
> our listserv showing who is signed up to cook and clean in the coming week.
> 
> This would be a great reminder system except that not everyone reads it and
> sometimes people forget to show up to clean, or forget to mention that
> they'll be away on their scheduled date. The head cook gets in touch with
> the co-cooks a few days ahead to plan the cooking work and make sure
> they'll be available, but no-one personally contacts the cleaners in
> advance. Sometimes you can phone a missing cleaner the night of the meal
> and they'll hustle over to the CH; other times one or two of the diners
> just pitch in.
> 
> A few households either never or extremely rarely participate in common
> meals. Two of them don't participate in anything - they or their tenants
> just live here. Three others that come to mind participate in general
> workshare but not in meals. I wouldn't want to co-cook or clean with
> someone who hates it and feels coerced to do it, and as long as they don't
> make other people cook & clean for them (ie, they just opt out altogether),
> I feel they're missing an important element of living in cohousing but that
> is their choice.
>   Muriel at Shadowlake Village Cohousing
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