Anyone who's ever dipped into the romance pool knows that dating can be a dirty business. So, to encourage a love connection that's grounded in reality, the owners of Earthly Delights farm, in Boise, Idaho, are hosting singles in a whole new environment: a vegetable field, the Associated Press reports.
Instead of swapping stories over cocktails, participants in so-called "weed dating" connect while plucking weeds out of rows of tomatoes, zucchini, or lettuce. There's no charge for the annual event, though the farm's owner does capitalize on the free labor.
Cathy O'Leary, the owner of Earthly Delights, held her first weed dating event last year for 20 people. This year 40 people showed up—and the trend seems to be growing. O'Leary borrowed the idea from a farm in Vermont, and weed-dating events have popped up in many farm-friendly areas in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
But as in all romantic matters, finding a love connection is mostly up to chance.
"I feel bad if we don't have the right people for the right people," O’Leary told the AP. "We're all weirdos, in general, people, we're all weirdos right? So like, it's just a matter of if the right weirdos show up."
Weed dating allows people who love the outdoors and good food to find each other, but it also gives daters the chance to see how their partners cope in a working situation. Do they complain about the heat or the thorns? Do they let you do most of the weeding?
O'Leary's event has led to at least one match.
Joe Peraino, 27, met a woman at last year's event, and the couple dated for nine months. Though they've since parted ways, they always enjoyed telling their "how we met" tale.
"It's a pretty fun story, because it's not like a known thing, weed dating," Peraino told the AP. "A lot of people are like, 'So, were you on a pot farm?' "
Weed dating even provides a little help for the shy. Each person is assigned a number, which is affixed to a Mason jar. Admirers can then leave a note in that person's numbered jar. That’s actually how Peraino, who describes himself as shy, met his ex, Jenn, at last year’s weed dating event.
"What I find is if you go to bars, you don't really know what people's interests are," Peraino told the AP. "You can't really walk into a bar and complain about climate change or peak oil without having people look at you weird. That would probably scare off a lot of people."
Brian Cox, a 47-year-old artist and musician, echoed Periano's sentiments, pointing out how different the natural setting is from a bar environment.
"The typical speed dating, it's just kind of awkward," Cox said. "But this is just beautiful, because it's like outside, it's very organic. Literally."
Where's the most unusual place you've met a love connection? Tell us in the comments.
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