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

Q&A: UC ANR's Doug Parker talks drought

Photo: <a href=http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov/wordpress/?p=8174>CDFA Planting Seeds blog</a>

Recently, the UC Food Observer caught up with one of California's foremost experts on water: Doug Parker of the University of California. Parker is the director of the University of California's Institute for Water Resources. The mission of the institute...

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:35 AM

Bed bug eradication requires tenant cooperation

Bed bugs go back to their hiding places after eating a blood meal. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

To successfully eliminate bed bugs, pest management professionals (PMPs) say they need the cooperation of people living the pests, according to a survey conducted by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists. California's pest management pros are...

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 10:59 PM

New study focuses on food safety practices on small and medium-size farms

Food safety study looks at  farms that raise livestock and grow fresh produce.

To improve food safety, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources studies every link in the food chain, from producers' farms to consumers' kitchens. A new UC study is looking at small to medium-size farms, both organic and conventional production, to...

Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 8:49 AM

Today is National Healthy Schools Day

Healthy Schools Day 2015

Today, April 7, 2015 is the 13th annual National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children.  Children in the United States face risks from exposure to pests and pesticides in schools. The U.S....

Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 1:24 PM

How we create recipes here at Eat Local

IMG 5771

  One of the fun things we do here at the Eat Local Project is develop recipes that highlight the amazing bounty of fruits and vegetables grown in our region. Over the last two years we have developed over 35 recipes and had them printed on great...

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 8:21 AM
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