Re: Contribute to cooking common meals
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 10:33:15 -0800 (PST)
Tree said:
> Make a policy ASAP that everyone will contribute to cooking
> common meals.

To which Chris ScottHanson replied:
> In my opinion this is not necessary...<snip>
> My suggestion is that meals be considered voluntary....<snip>
> If you have grass and it needs to be mown, you don't want 
> everyone to  
> participate in mowing the grass.  Same for boiler maintenance, or  
> gutter repair.  Why should meals be any different? 

Eris talking now:
I have to respectfully disagree with Chris. Meals are a big component of
the glue that holds our community together. Every one of our members
cooks dinner once a month. That means we have meals FOUR times a week.
This was one of the things that we consensed upon WAY in the beginning,
before we even had land. We have HIGH attendance at meals, 40-50 people
(in a community of 30 households). Our meals are social, served
family-style, and an opportunity to hang out, see what's up with each
other, etc. Many folks here would mention our common meals as one of the
best things about living in community. Our community has a reputation
for being particularly close-knit, and part of what contributes to this
is that we have always engineered in these kinds of social

While doing maintenance and landscaping work together can indeed be
community building, it's true it doesn't matter if everyone takes a turn
mowing the lawn. If cooking was voluntary, and only the people who loved
to cook did it, we'd have WAY fewer meals and WAY fewer opportunities to
connect and bond with each other in this way.

(Earlier this year, Miss Manners did a column in which she proffered HER
definition of a family.  "A family, by Miss Manners's standards, is a
group of people that takes nightly and weekend meals together. It is
then and there, asking one another to pass the beans, arbitrating who
gets the drumstick and pretending to be interested in each one's
adventures of the day, that families are forged." By this definition,
FrogSong is more of a family than the one I grew up in!

Eris Weaver
Facilitation & Group Process Consultant
phone/fax 707-795-2157
erisw [at]

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