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

Evaluating Regional Food Resilience in the San Francisco Bay Area

SF Bay Area Development Patterns

While the provision of clean water, removal of wastes, and infrastructure for other basic human necessities are considered in the planning of modern development in the United States, the provision of food is rarely a consideration. More often,...

Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 5:49 PM
  • Author: N. Claire Napawan, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
  • Author: Ellen Burke, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo

August 19th is National Honey Bee Day: Dr. Elina NiƱo reminds us to help honey bees cope with pests

rooftopbeekeeping

National Honey Bee Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of every August. This year it falls on Saturday the 19th. If you use integrated pest management, or IPM, you are probably aware that it can solve pest problems and reduce the use of pesticides...

Posted on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 1:02 PM
  • Author: Stephanie Parreira, UC Statewide IPM Program

Urban Farming and Water Conservation: A Way of Life on the City Farm

Raised Bed Irrigation - Treasure Island Job Corps Farm

Reyna Yagi (ryagi@ucanr.edu), Northern California Urban Agriculture Program Coordinator, University of California Cooperative Extension - Alameda and Contra Costa Counties It has been a banner year for water in California. The above-average...

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 1:45 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Still Seeing Aphids on Your Plants?

Rose aphids infesting a blossom. (Photo: Jack Kelly Clark)

Are you surprised to see aphids on some of your plants this time of year? With the current mild temperatures in California, aphids may continue living and reproducing in some locations this winter, with female adults giving birth to live young every...

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Webinar on Healthier Homes and Communities - 01/23

A small flashlight is used to inspect underneath a kitchen sink for ants and ant entry points.  (Photo: Cheryl A. Reynolds)

Register for the U.S. EPA Webinar: It Takes an Integrated Pest Management Village - IPM for a Healthier Home and Community Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT), Followed by a live...

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 11:52 AM

Redhumped Caterpillar Publication Revised

Two redhumped caterpillar larvae on a plum branch. (Photo: Belinda Messenger-Sikes)

The redhumped caterpillar is a familiar pest on fruit and nut trees such as plum, almond, cherry, and apple, as well as on ornamental trees like liquidambar and birch. It can reach high populations in California's Central Valley, sometimes defoliating...

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 6:08 PM

Trends we're watching in 2018: experts weigh in on water, GM, science communication and more

Rapsfeld 2007

As we settle into 2018, it's natural to wonder what the New Year may bring. There have been dozens of "trend pieces" discussing what's in store. In this wrap, we consider possible 2018 trends in water, the GM debate, science communication, and food and...

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 8:27 AM

Time to Treat for Peach Leaf Curl?

Peach leaves deformed by peach leaf curl. (Photo: Jack Kelly Clark)

Peach leaf curl is a disease that affects peach and nectarine trees. Although you may not see symptoms right now in the dormant season in California, it's time to think about treatment, especially if your tree had the disease last year. Symptoms of...

Posted on Monday, January 8, 2018 at 11:41 AM
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