Monday, September 15, 2008

Cohousing Community Meals

While I am on a kick writing about cohousing, I thought I'd share about community meals. I am feeling a bit guilty that I am taking this description straight from our cohousing website. Cheating a little, but it describes it just as I would and saves me a lot of time! Every community runs their meals a little differently. I would be interested to hear any comparisons.

residents (both owners and renters) have the option of participating in our meal
plan, perhaps our strongest community-building activity. We have community meals
twice a week. One meal is always on Sunday, alternating between brunch and
dinner. The other meal is a dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night.
These dinners rotate each week ... one week it's on Tuesday, the next week on
Wednesday, etc.

Residents sign up for a meal rotation that lasts approximately 3 to 4
months, depending on the number of participants. During that time, each adult
participant takes one shift as head cook, one shift as assistant cook, and three
cleaning crew shifts. The head cook plans the menu, purchases the ingredients
and cooks the meal with help from the assistant cook. Attendance at the meals is
typically somewhere between 30 and 50 diners, and participants are asked to
cross their names off the list if they will not be attending. We have items such
as spices and oil available in our community pantry.

Our menus are varied and delicious, and our cooks attempt to address
various dietary requirements so that residents who are vegetarians or who avoid
wheat, for example, can still participate. Mealtime in cohousing is a great chance
to catch up with friends and relax without having to prepare a meal at home.

For those who do not wish to participate in the meal plan, we also hold
traditional potlucks on holidays such as Memorial Day, Forth of July, Labor Day,
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So that's it. When we first moved in, I thought the idea of sharing meals with everyone was a little hippie-dippy, but it soon became one of my favorite parts of cohousing. Twice a week I don't have to think about what to cook for dinner, and I don't have to clean up either!

(I also stole the photos from the community's website - that is Matt, Kate and me piling up our plates! I'm in my yoga clothes because I came straight from a community yoga class - what?!? I haven't told you about the awesome yoga classes being taught twice a week in our common house? Gotta add that to the to blog list!)


Butterfly Mama said...

Sounds great!

PopMom said...

I love to entertain, but 50 people??? That's like Thanksgiving doubled!!

Tiffany said...

I love the idea of co-housing. Do you own the land your house sits on or does the association? If I ever move to another area I will look into the co-housing option.

Anonymous said...

This really sounds so great! I'm used to having a house full of people so the whole idea of cohousing is really appealing to me.

Jennifer said...

fascinating. not all of us are so lucky!!