Where will the gathering be?

We will gather peacefully for silent meditation the morning of July 4th, 2017 from dawn until noon; and a peaceful assembly of free speech and expression from July 1st through the end of Vision Counsel; in the state of Oregon. For directions, click here.

To find out how to get into the gathering without getting a mandatory court appearance ticket, click here and check out the right side-bar. To reach a human being, email Karin.

Friday, April 7, 2017

So You Want to Focalize a Kitchen?

In my humble opinion, the gathering needs more kitchens like it needs more dogs, but for some  reason, everyone wants to focalize a kitchen. That being said, being part of the kitchen provides an amazing growing, learning experience on working collectively and provide safe and healthy food in the woods.


The reality of focalizing a kitchen goes something like this.

Main Supply won't provide all the food for cooking if you're feeding the gathering at large - either off-the-rails or at dinner circle. This means you provide much of the free food in the woods. While some kitchens have a donation can on the counter for after people have been fed, in reality most of the cost of food is born by those running the kitchen. Bring 500 to 1,000 pounds of food to get started. You'll need to provide pots and pans for cooking, 5-gallon water buckets for dish washing, filtered drinking water for you and your crew and hopefully for all gatherers. You'll need to chop wood, haul water and wash dishes in addition to cooking. You'll need to make sure you provide sanitary cooking and serving facilities, keep sick people out of your kitchen, deal with late night movies and work your ass off.

If you've never plugged in with a kitchen at a gathering before, you might think about joining your energy with a well established kitchen to get a sense of how hard cooking in the woods can be before you strike off on your own.

If you're ambitious enough to serve main circle, make sure to be at kitchen council so your kitchen gets some of the supplies (often around 11 AM near Info). But keep in mind that even those kitchens serving main circle only get a portion of the food they serve from main supply.

Sure late night zuzu cooking is fun, but it also is hard to work around all the tripping hippies -- especially those who need baby sitting at 2 AM.

You'll also need to have some serious shitter movies going down. Not only for your crew but for anyone who is attracted to your camp. This can mean digging one or two new shitters every day from June 28 to July 3 when the gathering population swells.

When the gathering is over, you get to disappear your kitchen so no one knows it was ever there. You get to haul your trash out, bury your compost and fill in your shitters.

What do you get for focalizing a kitchen?

More personal growth than you ever imagined possible in a couple of weeks. More stress than you can imagine and more people smoking you out that you could ever wish for if you're kitchen is dank. You get to move your kitchen three times because the US Forest Service keeps changing the rule on how close to surface water the kitchen can be - play it safe and go 500 feet if you want to avoid the move your kitchen game.

You get people bugging you at all hours of the day and night because they're hungry or thirsty. You get random dogs digging through your supply tent and eating the food you just hiked three miles on your back. If you leave your kitchen unsupervised by trusted kitchen crew, you come back to a kitchen missing pots or oranges or a tarp.

The wonderful tarps you strung over your kitchen collapse from rain in the middle of the evening meal. And above all, you get to have a complete temper tantrum when your nerves snap because no one wants to help wash dishes or dig the next shitter.  Of course, you can plug into an existing kitchen and learn from experienced family how a great kitchen works. (Try the Ovens, Kiddie Village, Iris, Musical Veggies, Granola Funk, Instant Soup, Fat Kids, Tea Time, Warriors of the Light and BARF to name but a few of the great kitchens. Ask at Info when you get to the gathering).  Most kitchens welcome new people who are willing to work.

It's a wonderful magical crazy ride and worth every second if you last. But please, please, please read the Kitchen Mini Manual so you don't get your family sick due to lack of proper hygiene.

If you've every plugged into a kitchen, please share your words of wisdom.  If you're interested in how Main Supply works, click here.


  1. Very well written and quite funny! As someone who has done a Zuzu kitchen, you touched on all of the finer points! I have done it twice, most likely will not do it again, I feel plugging in to an established kitchen is a better way to go. I did Montana with my daughter when she was 10, my first year with Kiddie Village. It was my most rewarding National yet! Especially rounding up the kids to go borrow our swing set back, a swing set that somehow walked away with a very sorry brother.

    See Ya'll in Oregon! Lovin' You!

  2. How can I focalize a box store style kitchen? You know, sorta like a Walmart but not a Walmart. I think that would be great asset for the Oregon nationals and future nationals. It'd be a way to cut down on town runs.


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