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

Composting and Water Conservation


At this time of year, biodegradable organic matter such as tree and shrub leaves are often in big supply. Whether passively allowed to decompose or actively managed to speed up the composting process, and use the compost, we often turn to our backyard,...

Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 12:03 PM
  • Author: Rob Bennaton
  • Author: Adapted from an article by the Alameda County Master Gardeners Help Desk

On-Farm Food Safety Study Looking for Volunteers

Chickens on Farm

A University of California-Davis research team is enrolling organic and conventional farms to participate in a research opportunity for small to medium size farms. The researchers are looking for volunteers to participate in the study to identify...

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 11:07 AM
  • Author: Alda Pires

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Survey Says! What local consumers are saying about buying locally grown

image (2)

Here at the Eat Local Placer Nevada Project, we want you to eat more locally grown fruits, vegetables and nuts! In order to achieve our goal, we decided to survey consumers in Placer and Nevada counties to learn more about how, when, where and why...

Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Future looks bright at UC Ag Field Day

Meat judging is among the competitions at Ag Field Day.

More than 3,500 FFA and 4-H high school students from California and surrounding states will gather on March 6 and 7 at UC Davis for the annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day. The smart, passionate youth will compete in two dozen...

Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 8:51 AM

Urban Entomology Conference at UC Riverside

Urban Pest Conference

Are baits the silver bullet for German cockroach control? How can you use better use bait stations against mice and rats? What are the county inspectors looking for during headquarter and truck inspections? Ever wonder how museums deal with their pest...

Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM

New UC IPM online course helps schools and child care centers follow the Healthy Schools Act

Child care online course.

California requires that pest control companies providing services in schools and licensed child care centers comply with a series of laws called the Healthy Schools Act (HSA). The HSA promotes IPM and seeks to minimize pesticide exposure to children in...

Posted on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 6:06 PM

New Valentine’s Day trends are good for kids

Last Valentine's Day, Nick Spezzano (Terri's son, in white shirt and bow tie) enjoys fresh vegetables and fruit with his classmates.

At some point in the last few decades, Valentine's Day in elementary schools ceased to be about sharing heart-felt sentiments on simple paper cards. It turned into a candy fest. Now, with growing attention to the obesity crisis and increasing rate of...

Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:26 AM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu