So first off, Weed Dating is not a bunch of single pot smokers getting together then trying to interact while eating vast quantities of food, though that concept sounds ripe for some type of parody.
This Weed Dating took place at Suzie’s Organic Farm in San Diego and was conceived with the intent of bringing together like minded singles in a farm environment surrounded by some of the best organic produce in San Diego County. Nothing against Internet dating, as I’ve seen it work, but there is something about meeting people in a natural environment like Suzie’s Farm that appealed to me from the moment I saw the poster at the Leucadia Farmers Market. What a nice change of pace from the traditional first date of meeting for a drink and the pressures that goes along with it. Weed dating provided an informal, casual community atmosphere where at the very least you can meet some interesting folks and sample some amazingly fresh food and everyone gets dirty.
I’ve been meaning to make a trip to Suzie’s Farm for some time as they supply many of my favorite restaurants and grocery stores in San Diego. Annel & Drew’s Kitchen makes weekly trips to Suzie’s Farm to pick their own produce that makes up their incredible, farm to fork culinary creations. Weed Dating provided the motivation to make the trip down to the Imperial Valley where the farm is located.
The event was held on a Sunday afternoon and the group of singles gathered at the farm entrance were greeted by Lucila De Alejandro who owns and operates the farm with her husband Robin. Lucila and Robin were theatre majors at SDSU and that shows in her warm and entertaining hospitality and ability to engage an audience. Lucila immediately had everyone at ease, removing any nervousness or awkwardness by explaining the simple way Weed Dating operates and the different methods to pull weeds. Basically, it entailed weeding and conversing in a row next to someone for 7 minutes, then when instructed by Lucila, one of the people stays in their row and the other moves one row over. This goes on for about an hour and is followed by an outdoor meal.
The group of singles ranged from their mid 20s to 50s and the nice thing was that regardless of who people were weeding with, the conversation flowed. Topics never strayed far from gardening, farmers markets, amazing meals, favorite restaurants, and how refreshing the event was compared to other forms of trying to meet people. I noticed some professional connections being made also, which was an added bonus. I also made note that I would have no hesitation inviting this group over to my home for a dinner party which says something about the quality of people attending.
After the weeding part of the event, the group walked over to Suzie’s outdoor eating area that had a very cool sunken picnic table. A table was full of organic green salads, hummus, wood fired pizza and an assortment of beverages including some tasty micro brews and wine. Talk about farm to fork, the fork does not get any closer to the farm than this. Everything we ate was just picked and was delicious. So simple, yet the freshness of it all and the outdoor farm environment on a glorious Sunday afternoon produced a perfect vibe. It’s almost as though the dating element of the day was secondary to the feeling of community that was shared by the group and facilitated by Lucila. The event ended with participants given a questionnaire where they could indicate who they would like to be contacted by. Just from observing the interaction, I’m sure connections were made.
Besides Weed Dating, Suzie’s Farm has a booth at the Leucadia Farmers Market every Sunday. They have a program called Community Supported Agriculture where you can order a large or small box of the freshest organic produce around and it is delivered to the market for pickup. It’s a great way to experience what top restaurants in town are serving in your own home. Learn more about this program and Suzie’s Farm at suziesfarm.com.
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