Re: Subject: Common meals - mandatory participation?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2014 15:53:12 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 4, 2014, at 3:19 PM, R.P. Aditya <aditya [at]> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 04, 2014 at 10:01:51AM -0400, Richart Keller wrote:

>> I suspect that Great Oaks approach reflects that of most cohousing
>> communities.
> I was under the impression that in most communities the meals work is
> separate from other community work and the only folks who need to do
> meals work are those that dine -- I've certainly observed first-hand in
> the cohousing communities I've visited that to be a big problem in
> contrast to the Great Oak approach of having meals work integrated in
> the community work system and making just the dining part optional.

I now agree with Adi. There was great resistance to including meals in the 
workshare jobs. It seemed that meals were independent and served the diners. 
I've changed my mind. I think meals are important and it's wonderful to have 
the kitchen busy. Our dining room is used for yoga and movement classes more 
than meals lately. It's nice when some one is in the kitchen. (Especially when 
they turn on the exhaust fan when cooking onions!)

It's possible that more people would contribute more time as well. Some people 
who do a LOT of other stuff might be relieved to be able to just eat.

The other reason I started this message is that I read Great Oaks' workshare 
policy and it is fabulous. It even includes a sentence saying people are 
expected to contribute up the day they move. They can't quit the day they 
decide to move. A lot of clearly stated expectations like that.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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