Re: Common meals - mandatory participation?
From: Catya Belfer (
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 10:22:17 -0700 (PDT)
My concern with a mandatory system would be things like invisible

For example, cooking works for me less the occasional heavy pot of water.
 Cleanup with its racks of dishes is only something I can do without
consequence on good days, and good days are not terribly predictable.

If I weren't a cook, and I had a mandatory system, it would tie me in
knots, because hey, guess what: dealing with invisible disability is hard.

     - cat

Catya Belfer   -
Technical Director   -
Cohousing in MA -

On Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM, Malcolm Eva <malcolm [at]>

> 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]
> > On 1 Aug 2014, at 02:26, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]> 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
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.