Unity, Maine – Weed Dating, a series of new events that bring together young, entrepreneurial farmers whose low-density lifestyles offer little prospect for spontaneous romance, are sprouting up across the rural US.
Urbanites might prefer rotating between tables in a bar, but in this version of speed dating singles pull up weeds while they make small talk.
The growing popularity of organic farming and the rise of the locavore movement have made agricultural labour more attractive in recent years, even among college graduates. But new rural residents lack social connections. ‘If you can’t meet anybody and you want to meet somebody, you often have to leave,’ said one visitor to the Common Ground Country Fair in Maine.
Overall, rural America continues to lose residents. US Census data released in 2012 show that only 19.3% of the US population lives in rural areas, down from 21% in 2000.
Migration to urban areas is also gaining momentum in emerging economies. Read about how cities are adjusting in our Audi Urban Future Initiative Award show insight.