What’s life like at our co-op, you wonder?
To start, there are the day-to-day details of getting food on the table and washing clothes.
We shop at the Wedge, a local organic food store. Our commitment to shopping and cooking organically and almost exclusively vegetarian reflects a basic desire to leave a smaller footprint on the planet. Basic foods and foods used in cooking group meals are purchased for the house, while individuals purchase their own luxury items like (wink, wink) Dom Perignon, Russian caviar and Chilean swordfish filets.
Residents’ contributions covers taxes, maintenance, repairs and house improvements, utilities, food, upkeep of the farm and local phone. Wireless internet access, luxury food items and long distance phone calls are billed individually. Trips to the Caribbean in the winter are, sadly, also not covered by rent.
Keeping this grand old house clean and functioning takes cooperation! Some residents love to clean, others are good cooks and some are good at balancing a budget. Just as long as everyone tows their weight and does their chores!
At our bi- or tri-weekly “house meetings” our agenda typically includes house policy, bureaucratic stuff, checking in with each other about pet peeves, making plans for upcoming events and voting in new members. It’s also a chance to socialize, since whole-group meals are a rarity due to busy schedules and busy lives. Once a month we have a Board meeting, which is more business oriented. We try to keep our meetings short and sweet, and decisions are made through a consensus process. At “board meetings”, we discuss major Omega projects and finances. In addition to residents who’ve been voted in after a six-month trial period, some ex-residents, some non-resident farm users and others simply committed to the cooperative project sit on Omega’s Board. At our monthly Board meetings, we discuss farm issues, budgets and large maintenance issues. Oh, and we socialize!