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

UC ANR Urban Ag Bay Area Workshop: Production Issues & Urban Farms
Date: May 4, 2017

Production Issues & Urban Farms: Learn key concepts in soil, crop, pest and water management.

View Event Details

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

Urban Farms: Seed Starting Diseases

Seedling on right has damping off disease. One on left is healthy.

It's beginning to look a lot like spring, so many small growers try to save some money by starting seeds in growing systems and then plant the transplants to get a jump on weeds and other pests like slugs that can decimate a direct-seeded crop. But...

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 8:37 AM

Are your birds safe from avian influenza?

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Are your birds safe from avian influenza? Take UC's biosecurity survey to see how you score Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in January 2017 killed birds at commercial poultry farms and backyard flocks in the UK, China and South...

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:43 PM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Rainbow of potential alternative pomegranate varieties

Al Sirin Nar

Almost all pomegranates grown in the United States are one variety: Wonderful. John Chater, a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside, wants to change that. He would like to broaden the varieties of pomegranates available so that...

Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 8:47 AM

What's That Beetle in My Roses?

Adult hoplia beetle and feeding damage. [J.K.Clark]

If you grow roses, you might be noticing damage on the flowers caused by hoplia beetles (Hoplia callipyge). Hoplia beetles, which are common between March and May, especially in the Central Valley, feed on the blossoms of light-colored roses and other...

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 11:48 AM

Make Earth Day Every Day - Use IPM!

Gardens can be beautiful using IPM. [E. Zagory]

Every April, we celebrate Earth Day and think about ways we can help make our planet healthier. One way to do this is to use IPM or integrated pest management to deal with pests around your home and garden! IPM is a science-based, environmentally sound...

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:35 PM

UC ANR scientists help fledgling Tanzania avocado industry

Mary Lu Arpaia inspecting locally produced avocados being sold in a road side stall. (Photo: Mark Hoddle)

Dedicated growers and research support from the University of California have made avocados a California success story. As part of the UC Global Food Initiative, which is channeling UC resources toward sustainably feeding the world's growing population,...

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 11:32 AM

Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness Week

Culex mosquito biting through human skin. [J.K. Clark]

April 16-22 has been declared West Nile Virus and Mosquito Vector Control Awareness week by the California State Legislature. West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne disease that was originally found in Africa. It was first detected in the eastern U.S....

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 4:44 PM
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