By Lisa Kivirist
When you think of the word “hospitality,” what image comes to mind? Maybe a vision of mom’s china set that only came out for special occasions? It’s easy to fall into the expected, often obligatory aspects of hospitality like dinner parties and required house cleaning.
But today, let’s cook up a broader definition of hospitality to create a spirit of welcome that enables us to authentically invite and include a greater number and diversity of people at the table. Whether we’re shaking up the system from our literal kitchen table or a broader virtual convening, we—as women committed to sustainable agriculture and land stewardship—can actively invite more voices in. Especially as we navigate a new COVID-19 world with evolving norms of social gatherings, how can we keep warm hospitality at the forefront?
“Hospitality is how someone makes you feel, accommodation is where you lay your head,” shares Ash Bruxvoort, who runs Thistle’s Summit, a bed and breakfast in Mount Vernon, Iowa, with their partner, Marti Payseur. As members of the LBGTQ community, Ash and Marti blend their activist mission with lodging by thoughtfully and authentically curating such a welcoming space for all.
Below are some perspectives on generating such hospitality from Bruxvoort and other women who have created such unique and enduring spaces of welcome: