Community Building and Critical Thinking through Farming.

Robin Low
3 min readMar 5, 2021

You can learn a lot from farming and farming can allow you to apply some of these principles you learn in your life and career.

Sadly, in today’s society, many people are too lazy to think. They would not try to reason and ask questions like, “I forgot to water my plant for a week, it is brown now, how do I save it? “ or “How do I grow the plant from seeds? Do I put the seeds in the soil?”

Google is a good place to search for answers. There are a lot of people sharing tips and information about their experience, but take it with a grain of salt as many of these experiences do not apply to your situation.

I’ve written a book, Zen of Urban Farming, and yes, I do learn a lot from urban farming. I am good at time management, prioritizing my schedules. I learn not to be lazy and procrastinate. To grow plants well, it does take effort and a good understanding of the conditions of your garden.

I feel that you can learn how to approach farming, but as most conditions differ, someone’s experience in their garden may not apply to your situation. They may have more direct sunlight, fertile soil, and good air-flow. Following their instructions may not work in your situation.

Urban farming builds character. I’ve tried to get my niece, nephew to help with cuttings, changing of soil and watering plants, and taking care of their plant is not easy as it requires discipline.

Many ask, why is your plant so bushy and healthy. Why is my plant tall and miserable looking?

Sometimes it is the different condition that you can grow your plant. Your balcony may not have enough sun for the plants, it may be too hot, too dry, too windy. Hence it is important to apply critical thinking to understand what can you grow, and how can you do well with what you have.

Plant swap is a community of people who are interested in growing plants at home, propagating them, and trading them to try out other plants. I am very selective about the group and unlike many other groups who are just about growing in numbers, I want plant swap to have members who want to contribute to their community and apply critical thinking.



Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.