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

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

Seeing Japanese beetles in your California landscape? Not likely.

Japanese beetle [D. Cappaert, Bugwood.org]

Have you seen big green beetles in your California yard or garden? Or beetles feeding on your roses or other plants? There are many kinds of beetles commonly found in our landscapes, but the Japanese beetle is not one of them. Japanese Beetles Many...

Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Zika, Mosquitoes, and Repellents

Adult female mosquit, Aedes aegypti. [J. Gathany, CDC.]

[From the August 2016 issue of the UC IPM Retail Newsletter] Concerns over the Zika virus have been all over news lately, so you may be getting questions about mosquito repellents and how customers can protect themselves from mosquitoes. The Zika...

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 2:08 PM

New Law Requires Annual Training for Anyone Applying Pesticides at School Sites

UC IPM online course[6] copy

School is already back in session for many children in districts throughout California, and several others will be starting back to school in the next couple of weeks. While students and teachers were enjoying summer break, an amendment to the Healthy...

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 11:41 AM

Mark your calendar for World Food Day events

(Photo: Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

The day for collectively taking action against global hunger is still two months away. But September and October are already shaping up as “world food months,” with a number of events connecting Californians to their food systems and the...

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 2:14 PM
  • Author: Brad Hooker

Two New HLB Diseased Trees Found in Los Angeles

oranges

August 11, 2016 Two more trees have been confirmed positive for Huanglongbing (HLB), the plant disease carried by an invasive insect called the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). One tree is located in San Gabriel and the other is in Hacienda Heights, in very...

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:12 PM
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