Growth Opportunity

Farm produce at any level

Ask any urbanite-turned-farmer about the challenges of starting an agricultural operation, and you'll get an earful. Growing food, especially for a profit, is not easy.

But the proliferation of rooftop farms, backyard chickens and memoirs about leaving the city to herd goats suggests that our agrarian obsession is far from over.

Fortunately, you don't have to skip town to live out your bucolic ideal. Here are three new tools, on a scale that increases by commitment level, for starting a farm.

Low Window Farms, a nonprofit that repurposes water bottles and hangs them from windows to grow hydroponic produce, is launching window-farm kits, which include everything necessary to re-create the food-producing (and beautiful) structures at home. Sign up to be notified when the core, classic and gourmet kits are ready, or pre-order one now.

Medium Fulfilling the role of Missed Connections for the farming world, a new website called WePatch.org seeks to bring together city dwellers with space to cultivate crops and would-be farmers in need of land.

High For those who want to make farming a full-time job that turns a profit but don't have the wherewithal to invest in large plots of land and labor, look to spin (which stands for "small-plot intensive") farming. The business model involves growing three crops a year in areas as small as 500 square feet.