Re: Common Meals System Online
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2009 15:31:37 -0700 (PDT)
Drupals? Is that sort of like rubles?
No, I see the rough summary. It sounds extremely complicated. Maybe it helps, if you have large numbers of meals or participants or?
Here, it is really simple.

Who cooks? A sign up sheet lists the dates for cooking, and 1-4 people sign up to do so, voluntarily. Seems to come round every 8 meals or so, for me (just eyeballing the list and seeing that it's been a while).

Who cleans up? Everybody. The cooks are the buck stoppers, to make sure it's all done by close-up time. But people bring their dishes over, scrape 'em into the compost bucket. Someone else gives them a quick brush with soapy water and fills the dish racks, runs them through our counter-top set up. The first two trays get some air- drying time (Corelle dishes + hot water= fast drying). Others give the clean dishes a swipe with a clean white dish towel, and stack them on the rolling cart where they are stored. Others clear tables, wipe them, clean serving areas, wash pots and pans, sweep, eventually take out trash and compost. The old "many hands" routine.

Payment: One member keeps an ongoing spreadsheet with names, payments, and debits. Most people pay ahead, and chip away at it, as he subtracts $4 for when you showed up to eat. Cooks get reimbursed from $3.50 per diner, $.50 goes for pantry staples. Usually about 30 people eat. The blessed meal accountant updates the spreadsheet once a week.

Equality? No. Not everyone cooks, but enough do. We figure it's like anything else around the place: not everyone facilitates, manages finances, or weeds the strawberries. It evens out enough, overall. We don't keep track of anyone's actual work time. We just try to make it easy enough, or rewarding enough, that people show up. With cooking, it's not hard, because you get lots of help and abundant acknowledgement.

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
where we've eaten together a couple times a week, at least, for about 9 years

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