All girls growing up in the communal Amana era, at the young age of 14, upon leaving school, would go to work in a community kitchen. She would join her grandmother, mother and aunt. Each village had 5-17 kitchen houses that fed 40-50 residents, 3 meals each plus two snack lunches. Amana had 17, East had 4, Homestead had 8 and Middle had 8 kitchen houses. The eldest lady was designated the Kitchen Boss and the kitchen named after her. She was responsible for maintaining the Kitchen House complex, the gardens, the cold frames, the hotbeds, the kitchen. The family and younger women assisted her. This continued until 1932 when the communal period came to an end by popular vote. The kitchen houses, usually quite large, are now private homes or businesses.