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

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

Urban Farm Spotlight: GrowGood

GrowGood Urban Ag Photo

In the most unlikely of spots, surrounded by warehouses, trains and light industry, GrowGood sits on a 1.5-acre site across the parking lot from the Salvation Army Bell Shelter. As you walk through the front gate, you find yourself amid hundreds of...

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 11:03 AM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

What to do when Ants Invade

Odorous house ant. (Dong-Hwan Choe)

If you've ever had ants come indoors, you know what a nuisance they can be when they crawl across kitchen countertops, invade your pet's food bowl, and get into garbage cans. So, what should you do? Outsmart the ants. Ants are usually looking for food,...

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017 at 8:25 AM

Partnering with produce providers

Crushing strawberries for strawberry jam. (Photo: UC Master Food Preserver Program of Orange County)

What's one way to combat food waste, save money, and expand food knowledge? Ask a UC Master Food Preserver. Or rather, have a group of dedicated volunteers do a hands-on demo at a CSA pick-up location. Tanaka Farms, located in Orange County, did just...

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 8:56 AM

What's that Sticky Stuff on my Car?

Whitish wax and sticky honeydew from woolly hackberry aphid on hackberry tree. (Jack Kelly Clark)

It's hot outside, so like a lot of people, you try to park your car under a tree in parking lots and on the street for some shade. You choose to park under a big hackberry tree, but when you return to your car, you notice droplets on your windshield and...

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Best Tips for Mosquito Protection

Mosquito larvae on the surface of water. (Jack Kelly Clark)

Record-breaking heat continues to scald California, leading many of us to water our landscapes and gardens more. While the water is good for plants and helps us cool down, even the smallest amount of standing water mixed with high...

Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 10:30 AM

The beautiful and healthful pitahaya thrives in Southern California

A beautiful pitahaya

Farmer Arian Williams is successfully tending 16 acres of avocados in the De Luz area of Temecula, but he and his wife came to the 10th annual UC Pitahaya Festival in August to see whether there is commercial potential in...

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 9:25 AM
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