An organic farm near Auxvasse will soon play host to what might be Callaway County's most unique group date.
"Weed Dating," an event in which young farmers and organic enthusiasts get to know each other over gardening work, will be hosted June 30 at Deep Mud Farm, 4721 County Road 290.
The event starts 5:30 p.m. with a tour of the farm, before daters are led to a row of vegetables to weed while mingling with the worker opposite to them. Like the more traditional speed dating concept, one group of daters will rotate from plant to plant until they've met everyone.
A BYOB reception will follow in a shaded area.
"Young people who have a shared interest in gardening and permaculture have a hard time finding like-minded people who are single," said Hannah Hemmelgarn, collective organizer of Laughing Oak Folk School, an organization that holds folk-wisdom workshops and social events at various Central Missouri locations and Weed Dating's sponsor. "The event is a combination of investing ourselves in a local organic farm ... and getting to know one another."
Hemmelgarn was inspired by a similar event held in St. Louis, and decided to bring the program to Callaway County. The Weed Dating concept was started by the Greenhorns, a grassroots non-profit organization of young farmers.
She said the event was free and not limited to single people, noting Deep Mud's owner himself, Jeremy Saurage, was looking forward to the opportunity to meet other like-minded young farmers in the area.
"For young farmers, you want to set out with a partner, whether it's romantic or not. It will be beneficial for everyone to grow as a collective. We'd love for there to be great diversity in age, gender and sexual orientation," Hemmelgarn said.
Registration is required to ensure an even pairing and should include name, gender, sexual orientation and age. Register at weed-dating.eventbrite.com/ or the event's Facebook page, "Weed Dating at Deep Mud Farm."