RE: kitchen equipment
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 17 May 94 13:30 CDT
Monika Stumpf  asked: Is it better to buy residential or commercial 
equipment (stove, oven,
dishwasher) for the kitchen?

Sharingwood currently using a remodeled basement for our community 
kitchen while we design and build our common house.  Our current 
appliances, which are regular domestic stock serve on average 23 people.

Our planned commonhouse will use similar domestic equipment (we are 
moving up to a gas stove but keeping the current dishwasher) for its 
first phase.  As the second phase of our community is built (another 12 
homes) we will upgrade to commercial dishwashing and are designing our 
kitchen to easily upgrade.

The advantage for us for using regular domestic appliances is that we 
got them all free.  Our current refrigerator for example is a nice side 
by side unit but only holds limited leftovers.  Every Friday night is 
leftover night and anything leftover after that gets composted.  We 
intend to put just enough freezer and refrigerator capacity in the new 
commonhouse to meet one weeks worth of storage.

We will upgrade our appliances when the dinner population reaches 40 or 
so, which won't happen until the second phase of homes is built.

One note about planning.  Although having adequate facilities is 
important, one thing I keep noticing about the current built 
communities is that less than half actually eat group dinner.  So out 
of 25 households you may only have 12 that actually eat dinner.  Given 
this, and also based on our own community experiences we are planning 
our kitchen and dining to comfortably accommodate 60 out of the 90 
potential residents here.  Our guess is that we will actually only have 
40 regular eaters.

I would be interested to learn what detracts people from joining in 
community meals. In our community members choose to not participate in 
group dinner because: (in order)  1. Prefer to eat with family  2. 
General loud environment (too many people)     3. Prefer to eat at 
different time   4. Dietary specialty can't be met  5. random personal 
schedule  6. Cooking anxiety (if you eat regularly there is subtle 
pressure to sign on to cook).  Of course most people have more than one reason.

One interesting dynamic that we have observed in ourselves is that 
those who came from large family environments tend to enjoy community 
dinner, those who came from small family environments tend to not 

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