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

Community and School Gardens in Marin County

School Garden - ANRphoto SPaisley

Marin County's waitlists for community gardens can be up to four years long. Exacerbating that problem is the fact that it can take up to seven years to launch a new garden. Clearly, the demand for community gardening is not being met in the county.*...

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Cultivating urban farms through community support

Baltimore Farm

If you were to start an urban farm in a neighborhood, what would be your first step? Obtaining a lease for the land? Testing for soil contamination? Clearing out the accumulated trash? These are important steps. But an additional step should be...

Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 11:26 AM
  • Author: Melissa Poulsen, MPH (PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Urban gardens contribute significantly to vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose

San Francisco TI Job Corps Farm - Purple Cauliflower

A high vegetable intake is associated with a better quality diet that is lower in calories and higher in fiber, and yet, access to fresh vegetables is a major public health problem in the United States. As a result, national health surveys indicate...

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 4:39 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Asian Citrus Psyllid is Spreading in California

Figure 1. Asian citrus psyllid adult, and white wax tubules from yellowish nymphs.

  [From the December 2014 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin] In August 2012, we wrote about the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in UC IPM's Green Bulletin newsletter. At that time, ACP was found only in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino,...

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 3:44 PM

Victorian Box Decline

Figure 1. This healthy Victorian box (Pittosporum undulatum) tree exhibits a dense canopy, glossy green foliage, and fragrant white flowers, making it an attractive landscape subject. [Photo by D. Hodel]

[From the December 2014 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin] Victorian box (Pittosporum undulatum) is an evergreen tree native to Australia that grows moderately fast to about 50 feet high and wide. It was much planted as an ornamental landscape subject...

Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 9:39 AM

Southern Californians get another reason to love pizza

The newly planted pizza garden at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville.

People love pizza, so they are sure to enjoy the new garden growing at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville. A circle planted with wheat, tomatoes, bell peppers, herbs and spices, the garden looks like and produces the ingredients for...

Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 8:05 AM

Farmer Interview: Jeremy Mineau of Super Tuber Farm

Super Tuber!

What is something you are enjoying eating from your farm right now? We are just starting to harvest some carrots that have been the ground for a while and I'm really enjoying their sweet flavor. We direct seeded them in the end of August and they are...

Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 11:31 AM

Exciting job opportunity: Urban IPM Educator

Lady beetle feeding on an aphid

The UC Statewide IPM Program is hiring an Urban IPM Educator to assist with extending pest management information to a variety of urban audiences. This exciting position is perfect for anyone interested in pests, horticulture, teaching, and educating....

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 1:21 PM
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