Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture

Welcome!

Are you interested in starting an urban farm?  Seeking details on how to raise backyard chickens and bees? Looking for information on laws, zoning and regulations that relate to urban agriculture? We offer resources on small-scale production, including soil, planting, irrigation, pest management, and harvesting, as well as information on the business of farming, such as how to market urban farm products. 

After you explore the site, please complete our survey! We’d like to know if you found what you were looking for and hear your suggestions.

Benefits of urban agriculture
Urban agriculture can positively impact communities in many ways. It can improve access to healthy food, promote community development, and create jobs. A number of cities in California, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego have recently updated municipal policies to facilitate urban agriculture, due to strong community interest. If you’d like to learn more about some documented impacts of urban agriculture, see Research.
 
Challenges of urban agriculture
Despite the benefits associated with urban agriculture, there are many challenges. Urban farmers routinely face issues related to zoning, soil, water access, and profitability, as a few examples. At the community level, noise and nuisance issues can come into play. This site is intended to share the research on both benefits and challenges, and best practices on how to address those as a farmer or local decision maker. 
 
Who we are
UC ANR is part of the nation’s land grant university system, with more than a century of experience providing research-based knowledge to California farmers. This site offers resources that we’ve identified as most useful for urban farmers and local decision makers and stakeholders. Additionally, we are identifying gaps where resources need to be developed. Our team includes more than 15 experts, ranging from UC farm advisors, to agricultural economists, to urban planners and policy makers.

WOW Farm, Richmond, CA below BART commuter line

What is urban agriculture?
It means different things to different people (See our working definition here). From backyard chicken-raising and beekeeping, to small-scale commercial farming on the edge of cities, urban agriculture is increasingly popular and is often in the news.

UC ANR Urban Agriculture Blog

UC ANR Urban Ag project team plans youth-led urban agriculture tours

WOW Farms Photo 1

Nestled under the West Oakland BART tracks on a 3,000 square foot piece of garden paradise, is WOW Farm (http://wowfarm.biz/). Three of our Urban Agriculture team arrived on this sunny Friday morning to talk about the farm/garden program with Executive...

Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 11:19 AM

UC Integrated Pest Management’s (IPM) Resources in Spanish

UC IPM Computer Kiosk showing information in Spanish - Photo by Karey Windbiel-Rojas

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) celebrates the contributions, culture, and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans originating from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America, and South America. These Americans make...

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Invasive pests of concern for California’s urban agriculture systems

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Photo by S.Ausmus USDA ARS

Every year, California receives, on average, six new exotic invasive pests of concern; that's about one new pest every 60 days. These may be plants, insects or other arthropods, mollusks, plant pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, vertebrates, or any...

Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 1:36 PM
  • Author: Andrew M Sutherland, SF Bay Area Urban IPM Advisor

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Pests make it challenging to grow chile peppers

A selection of hot chile peppers, a California-grown vegetable that adds spice to life.

Ethiopian, Mexican and Thai cuisine all taste distinctly different, but they have something in common: chile peppers. Demand for chile peppers is growing steadily and California is a leading producer of the vegetable that adds spice to life. Cash...

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10:17 AM
  • Author: Pamela Kan-Rice

Date label confusion leads to food waste

After the

A lack of information and misinterpretation of the dates on food labels leads to a tremendous amount of unnecessary food waste, said Chutima Ganthavorn, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor in Riverside County. There...

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Testimonial: The value of a school garden

'It is so amazing to see their eyes light up and hear the excitement in their voices when they see the work of their hands.' - Ventura County teacher

This is a real testimonial about the value of a school garden. I received an email recently from a teacher at a school where our University of California Cooperative Extension team installed garden beds this last school year. I have made minimal edits to...

Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Invasive pests of concern for California’s urban agriculture systems

I-HO-DICI-CO.001

Every year, California receives, on average, six new exotic invasive pests of concern; that's about one new pest every 60 days. These may be plants, insects or other arthropods, mollusks, plant pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, vertebrates, or any...

Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Lessons from California’s urban farms

Urban farmer Pilar Rebar gives a UC ANR team a tour of her organic seedling operation in Richmond, Calif.

Urban farms are popping up around the state, and a UC ANR team recently took a close-up look at urban agriculture in California. In particular, we wanted to learn about farms in cities and on the edges of cities that are selling or distributing their...

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 5:28 AM
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