Re; Common meals - mandatory participation?
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 17:27:52 -0700 (PDT)
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA, in year 26. Our meals are totally 
voluntary and managed very simply. Thursdays are potluck, and people just show 
up. Mondays are cooked meals. A list of Monday dates is posted on the common 
house bulletin board and one or more cooks sign up for that date. Sometimes 
cooks sign up a month ahead of time, sometimes at the last minute. 

Another bulletin board sheet has blanks where cooks fill in the date, cooks, 
and menu. Then there's a list of residents and frequent guests: circle your 
name if coming, cross out if not. Cooks may choose to phone those who have 
marked neither way, or send out an email reminder to the community list, to 
increase attendance. Cooks then know how many to prepare for (and figure a few 
last minute add-ons) in terms of quantity and how much their shopping budget 
will be (@ about $4 per diner). 
Cooking is typically by two people, though sometimes 1 or even 4. Many people 
never cook. Those of us who do, seem to cycle in about every 6-8 weeks, just 
looking at the list and thinking "it's been a while since I cooked" or "Helen 
is cooking and looking for a helper". 
While the cooks have final responsibility for leaving the place clean, the 
majority of those eating also pitch in on the clean up, which goes smoothly 
with no sign ups or teams. 

Now and then it happens that nobody signs up to cook. Usually, in that case, 
somebody proposes a solution: "I'll get some salmon to grill, if others bring 
side dishes" or "let's order from the good pizza place and I'll make a salad". 
Usually there are cooks that sign up. 

Most Monday cooked meals have about 25-30 diners, which might be about 2/3 of 
those present on the site that evening.  

Our meals ARE a vital part of our community. Those who don't join in, miss out. 
I cannot imagine making it a requirement. 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau

In Port Townsend WA, where in addition to RoseWind and the PT EcoVillage, a 
senior cohousing project is being envisioned, called Quimper Village. 

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