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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Event Name
Date

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

Urban Farm Spotlight: GrowGood

GrowGood Urban Ag Photo

In the most unlikely of spots, surrounded by warehouses, trains and light industry, GrowGood sits on a 1.5-acre site across the parking lot from the Salvation Army Bell Shelter. As you walk through the front gate, you find yourself amid hundreds of...

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Start Smarter Part 2: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

In my first Starting Smarter blog post, I talked about hands-on education, business planning, market research, and crop selection (Starting Smarter Part 1). I could write a book on what I didn't know when I started farming. In Part 2, I will summarize...

Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

Image of children with harvest

When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully...

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 9:23 AM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Retiring entomologist will be missed

Vernard Lewis.

He built a villa for termites, delighted school children with giant cockroaches, did “time” at San Quentin State Prison, traveled the world looking at insects and, in 2016, Vernard Lewis was inducted into the Pest Management...

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 5:08 PM

Woody Weed Invaders Publication Revised

Algerian ivy. (Joseph M. DiTomaso)

Controlling unwanted trees, shrubs, and woody perennial grasses can be difficult in landscapes, gardens, and natural areas. These troublesome woody plants often resprout after being cut back, and the resprouting shoots can outnumber the original plants....

Posted on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 3:31 PM

California Nursery Conference is July 27

Nursery and greenhouse growers and others interested in the latest information on growing practices and management methods to improve production efficiency and compliance with the environment regulations will want to sign up for this conference: 2017...

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017 at 1:22 PM

Food waste is an ethical and environmental issue

This poster played an important role in discouraging food waste and encouraging food conservation on the American home front during World War I. Noted artist Edward Penfield created the poster. It's held in the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Summer brings an abundance of luscious and healthy fruits and vegetables. It's easy to buy more than we can eat, which sometimes results in #foodwaste.

In a 

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2017 at 11:46 AM

School gardens get new life from UC Cooperative Extension volunteers

Volunteers gather in the garden before the first outdoor lesson. The course is taught by Lisa Paniaqua, standing on the left, school garden sustainability coordinator for UC CalFresh in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

When children grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables, they are much more likely to eat healthy food, so for decades California politicians, teachers and nutrition educators have advocated for a garden in every school. However, UC Cooperative...

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 9:59 AM
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