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

CA Youth Share Experiences with Urban Agriculture

Urban farmer Mia talks about crops at the Community Services Unlimited Expo Farm in South Los Angeles.

Urban agriculture provides an excellent opportunity to integrate community development and youth empowerment while sharing information about growing food in diverse urban settings. In 2015 and 2016, staff from UC SAREP and UC Cooperative Extension...

Posted on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Professionals Get Hands-On Rodent Training

20161027 142553

In October 2016, the University of California Cooperative Extension, Orange County, in association with the Pest Control Operators of California, Target Specialty Products, and Univar, hosted a three-day West Coast Rodent Academy for pest management...

Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:42 PM

Register Today for a Retail IPM Workshop

Examining citrus flush for Asian citrus psyllid. [Photo by Marcy Sousa]

Are you registered for one of the upcoming "IPM Workshops for Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers"? If not, time is running out! Oakland Workshop, Jan. 24, 2017 Registration is now open to all for the January 24, IPM Training for Retail Nurseries and...

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 4:25 PM

UC IPM Hiring for Urban Writer/Editor

UC IPM logo

Come work with us! The UC Statewide IPM Program is hiring for a Writer/Editor to assist with urban IPM publications and materials. Duties of this position include writing, editing, and copyediting a wide variety of professional-quality informational and...

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 9:37 PM

Priority Registration Ends Soon for Retail Nursery Training

Retail employee

Retailers-- are you registered yet for the January 24, IPM Training for Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers? If not, you only have a few more days to claim your spot. When: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 Where: Oakland Center, CSU East Bay -- Oakland, CA...

Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 11:47 PM

Invasive Shot Hole Borers Threatening Trees in Southern California

Fig.1. Adult female Polyhagous shot hole borer (Euwallaceae sp.).

The Polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) (Fig. 1) and Kuroshio shot hole borer (KSHB) are invasive wood-boring beetles that attack dozens of tree species in Southern California, including commercial avocado groves, common landscape trees, and native...

Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 1:10 PM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu