It’s getting harder and harder to find true love. In our 21st century world, people will try anything to find a date: OKCupid, Facebook flirting, blind dates, and even occasional real-life interactions at bars. (At least that’s what we hear from our people in the field.)
Some Idahoans, however, think they’ve found a better way. After all, how do you tell if the person you’re meeting really has anything in common with you? Does this seemingly special someone share similar hobbies? What about work ethic? That’s where the northwestern state’s well-meaning farmers come in. Once a year, a neighborhood farm on the outskirts of northwest Boise holds an evening of “Weed Dating.” No, this brilliant plan has nothing to do with drugs. It’s for locals with green thumbs – and lonely hearts.
Earthly Delights Farm is one of a few farms that tries to help local single gardeners plant the seeds of love. The ladies each get their own plot to garden, and the men take turns weeding with them. They’re evaluated afterwards to gauge if both parties want to till a relationship.
Casey O’Leary, owner of Boise’s Earthly Delights Farm, first heard about a similar event in Vermont and decided to set up shop in her town for the first time last year. About 20 people showed up the first time, a crowd that more than doubled this year. Joe Peraino, who met his previous girlfriend at the 2011 “weed dating” session, said the event works because everyone has similar interests. “What I find is if you go to bars, you don’t really know what people’s interests are,” he said. “You can’t really walk into a bar and complain about climate change or peak oil without having people look at you weird.”
At a recent “weed dating” session, Christian Science Monitor reports, O’Leary’s introduction was fittingly touching and peculiar. “We’re all weirdos, in general, people, we’re all weirdos right?” she said, “So like, it’s just a matter of if the right weirdos show up.” She also addressed the age differences – attendees ranged from early 20s to 50s, and told people to just have fun. Before sending the singles out digging for love, she gave the women a crash course in farming – just in case their green thumbs had somewhat faded. She covered the difference between a weed and a vegetable or fruit plant, telling them to pass that along to the men. Curiously missing from her spiel: tips on love.
“I’m not a hookup coach, I’m a farmer,” O’Leary said as she walked her way between the rows and watched her farm be weeded by nervous pairs of men and women. She that she started this off because she liked to see people with similar interests getting to know one another. And seeing her farm weeded doesn’t hurt either.
An interest in weeding may be more important than you think for many of the people who showed up. “Last year I was joking that if I would have weeded with my ex-boyfriend, we probably would have never gotten together,” attendee Amy Johnson said, “He was not a very good weeder.” Weeding, unsurprisingly, is one of Johnson’s favorite activities.
After all was said, done, and sufficiently weeded, the men could either approach the women on their own or leave a note in a mason jar for the women they liked best. Now that’s a fresh way to land a date.
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