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

Are your birds safe from avian influenza?

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Are your birds safe from avian influenza? Take UC's biosecurity survey to see how you score Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in January 2017 killed birds at commercial poultry farms and backyard flocks in the UK, China and South...

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:43 PM

CA Youth Share Experiences with Urban Agriculture

Urban farmer Mia talks about crops at the Community Services Unlimited Expo Farm in South Los Angeles.

Urban agriculture provides an excellent opportunity to integrate community development and youth empowerment while sharing information about growing food in diverse urban settings. In 2015 and 2016, staff from UC SAREP and UC Cooperative Extension...

Posted on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Building blocks of health

Cubes of baby food made from applesauce, potato puree, spinach puree, carrot puree, and pear puree. (Photo: Dayna Ravalin)

The scenario: Tomorrow is farmers market day, but not just any market on any day. This market happens once a month as part of a collaboration between the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County and Lopez High School. The high school, a continuation...

Posted on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 7:23 AM

Mosquito Eater? What's That Flying Insect?

Adult crane fly. [J.K.Clark]

It's now spring, which means the appearance of all kinds of insects, including those large, leggy insects sometimes called “mosquito eaters” or “mosquito hawks”, which fly awkwardly in or around your house. These insects are...

Posted on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 6:17 PM

'Agriculture: Food for Life' is the theme of National Ag Week

Third grade students from Fremont Elementary School joined classmates on their way to Kearney's lettuce planting at last year's Farm and Nutrition Day.

How are you celebrating American agriculture in your life? In advance of National Ag Week, March 19-25, and National Ag Day, March 21, Central Valley third-grade students were “learning with lettuce” how to bring more agriculture into their...

Posted on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 8:45 AM

National Poison Prevention Week - March 19-25, 2017

A child reaching for a pesticide stored in a common drinking container. [M.L.Poe]

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, and 1073 people in California were poisoned by pesticides in 2014 alone. Each year since 1962, National...

Posted on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 1:44 PM

Do You Have Carpet Beetles in Your Home?

Carpet beetle final-instar larval cast skin and adult. [D.Choe]

Have you noticed small, rounded beetles that resemble miniature lady beetles crawling your home lately? If so, you may have carpet beetles. Carpet beetles can be pests in homes, museums, and warehouses, where they feed on food such as fabric, wool...

Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 10:36 AM
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