Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture


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

The Case for Removing Weeds From Growing Areas

London Rocket Flowering Stem

One point I always make is that the sooner you control annual weeds, the better. This reduces crop-weed competition, along with a host of other issues caused by weeds (we'll save that for another blog). But the real key to forward-looking weed management...

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Santa Clara County Considers Establishment of Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones

Non-profit group Garden to Table hopes that AB551 will allow it to start more urban farms like its Taylor Street Farm in San Jose.

Santa Clara County is among several California counties and cities now considering local implementation of AB 551, the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Act, which became state law in 2014. Once enacted at the local level, AB 551 offers a potential tax...

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Production Places: Evaluating Communally-managed Urban Farms as Public Open Space

FIGURE 1 CommunallyManagedUrbanFarms

Communally-managed urban farms are one of many formal typologies of urban agriculture (UA) gaining popularity in U.S. cities. They are spatially distinct from the more common allotment farming forms (community gardens being the one of the most common...

Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2:08 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

New Detection Process for Citrus Disease/Huanglongbing Wins UC Advisor International Prize!

Alireza Poureza, UCCE agriculture engineering advisor.

Newly appointed UC Cooperative Extension agricultural engineering advisor Alireza Pourreza has been awarded the 2016 Giuseppe Pellizzi Prize by the Club of Bologna, an honor presented every other year to the best doctoral dissertations focused on...

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 10:45 AM

More Asian Citrus Psyllids Found in Placer County

Adult, nymphs, and white wax of Asian citrus psyllids. [M. E. Rogers, University of Florida]

The following press release was distributed on October 17, 2016 by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Insect that carries disease deadly to citrus trees found in Placer County. A portion of Placer County has been placed under quarantine...

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Workshop for Retail Nurseries-- Register Now!

Registration is still open for this one-day, hands-on, train-the-trainer workshop for retail nursery and garden center employees. When:   Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Where:  Oakland Center, CSU East Bay Time:    8:30 AM to...

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 10:26 PM

UC IPM Hiring for Writer/Editor

UC IPM web site

The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program is now hiring for a Writer/Editor.The Writer/Editor is responsible for working with experts to develop and produce informational products and communications about integrated pest management (IPM) for...

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 10:13 PM

The well-rounded pumpkin: A versatile vegetable

Pumpkins come in many shapes, sizes, and colors and are used to decorate or consume. (Photo: Katelyn Ogburn)

From seed to table or as seeds on the table, there are many edible forms of this staple fall decoration. While some ease their teeth into the lightly cooked tender green shoots of the plant, the majority of people know the pumpkin in its spherical orange...

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 8:23 PM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu