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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Event Name
Date

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 Niño 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

Simple tips for the best Thanksgiving

IMG 0299 MGW 7

            “What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” asks Charlie Brown.

 

You don't need...

Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 8:24 AM

Thanksgiving persimmons are autumn joy

Persimmons

When the weather cools in the fall and the holidays draw near, orange orbs ripen on persimmon trees in California to offer a fresh autumn sweetness in time for Thanksgiving recipes and holiday décor. At the UC South Coast Research and Extension...

Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 8:02 AM

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home!

A lady beetle positions itself on a tropical milkweed leaf, poised for flight. (Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ladybug!  Ladybug!Fly away home.Your house is on fireAnd your children are gone. How many times have you heard that nursery rhyme? Better yet, how many times have you seen a lady beetle (because they're beetles, not bugs) take off? Look...

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Why you should 'know beans' about beans

UC CalFresh mango and black bean salad

If you say "I don't know beans" about beans, you ought to. Beans are one of civilization's earliest cultivated crops, dating back to the early seventh millennium BCE. Today there are more than 40,000 varieties of beans worldwide. Beans can also have a...

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 10:03 AM

It’s time for DPR license and certificate holders to renew—get units via online courses from UC IPM

Schools and Child care online HSA.

November has arrived, and before you know it we'll be ringing in 2018! For those who hold a license or certificate from the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), and have a last name starting with the letter M through Z, this is your year to...

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 8:17 AM
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