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Weed dating

Plant the seeds of love as you’re pulling weeds
Photo courtesy of Duke University

It’s tough to meet people and find companionship, especially if you don’t want to go through online dating sites. An Illinois organization called “The Land Connection” pairs people up with an annual event called “weed dating.” You help pull weeds on a small farm while meeting new people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Maggie Taylor is a co-owner of Delight Flower Farm in Champaign, Illinois, which is the host site for this year’s weed dating event. The farm is less than an acre in size, but intensively produces organically-grown flowers. She says it’s a natural fit.

"Flowers are often a way that people communicate love and affection for each other, so it makes a lot of sense," says Maggie. "There’s so many cheesy metaphors that ‘love could bloom or blossom on our farm’. You know, every farmer could benefit from extra help weeding, and this is a great way for people to meet each other that’s a little alternative to a lot of the mainstream dating options."

Interested folks sign up in advance, are initially paired up with another person at the event, and they start pulling weeds together in a specific row or section of the field.

"And then I think it’s every 15-minutes, you switch partners that you’re weeding with. You may be weeding the same area or moving to a different area," says Maggie. "So, it’s a bit like speed-dating in that you’re not spending the whole evening with one other person, you get to meet a bunch of different people and converse with them as well as hang out outside."
 
Maggie shows the participants what the weeds look like that should be pulled. She says there may be a few plants that get yanked out that shouldn’t be, but hey, it’s free labor. At the end of the evening, everyone meets back at the barn for refreshments and more schmoozing.

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