I like the farmer's market idea. I started a Homesteading Club in my area and it has brought together a lot of people. If I were single it might be a way to catch a partner. On paper you might say that my area is a permaculture dead zone as well but once you start talking to people about it, they come out of the woodwork. My little homesteading club has 170 emails on the mailing list after two years. It's lead to building a a Community Garden that also would be a good place to find like minded people.
If you build it, they will come