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

Bed Bug Management Challenges

Adults and nymphs of bed bugs.

[From the December 2015 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin] Survey of professional bed bug management in multi-unit housing Bed bug management is especially challenging in multi-unit housing (MUH) situations such as public and low-income apartment...

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 3:32 PM

HLB Confirmed in San Gabriel

Citrus fruit. [J.K. Clark]

News release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) February 3, 2016 - Two additional trees in San Gabriel have tested positive for Huanglongbing. The two trees, an orange and a kumquat, are on separate properties but are both...

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 4:33 PM

'Four Little Pigs' blow the house down with a super bowl of chili

The Four Little PIGS (Pork in Green Sauce) drew applause as the winners of the 2016 Solano County 4-H Chili Contest. From left are Spencer Merodio, Alexis Taliaferro, Natalie Frenkel and Kate Frenkel, all of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Their first time proved to be the charm — just as Super (souper) Bowl Sunday beckons.Using a grandmother's favorite recipe and all locally grown ingredients, the Four Little PIGS (Pork in Green Sauce) from the Suisun Valley 4-H Club swept the...

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 8:27 AM

Exotic citrus for marmalade

Buddha's hand

I have a fondness for marmalade. It's slightly tart flavor and sunny disposition is always a happy addition to breakfast on a rainy winter morning. Each winter I make at least one variety of marmalade and recent batches have been a bit out of the...

Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Oakdale area in Stanislaus County under ACP quarantine

Asian citrus psyllid and nymphs. [Photo by M.E Rogers]

News release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) January 28, 2016 – A new portion of Stanislaus County has been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of one ACP within the City...

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2016 at 11:27 AM
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