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

Start Smarter Part 2: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

In my first Starting Smarter blog post, I talked about hands-on education, business planning, market research, and crop selection (Starting Smarter Part 1). I could write a book on what I didn't know when I started farming. In Part 2, I will summarize...

Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

Image of children with harvest

When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully...

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 9:23 AM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

FOOD IT: How will technology shape the future of food?

UC at FOOD IT

More than 300 people gathered in Mountain View for the fourth annual FOOD IT: Fork to Farm on June 27 to discuss the role of information technology in the food system – from managing crops in the field to dealing with consumer food waste. The...

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 12:04 PM

Exploring Bay Area Wholesale Market Options

Cook's Company, San Francisco Produce Market

On June 13, the Small Farm Program partnered with UCCE Small Farm Advisor Margaret Lloyd to conduct a tour of wholesale produce markets for Sacramento region farmers. During the bus ride from Woodland to San Francisco, I described the packaging and...

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 3:32 PM
  • Author: Shermain Hardesty

Top 5 Tomato Plant Problems Solved!

Tomatoes are popular in home gardens. (Pixabay)

Tomatoes are so popular with home gardeners, that a 2014 study by the National Gardening Association showed that 86 percent of homes with vegetable gardens grow tomatoes! It's understandable that the tomato plant is a popular home vegetable garden...

Posted on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Pollinator Week is June 19-25

Garden plants providing nectar and pollen for natural enemies and pollinators. (Photo: Ellen Zagory)

Ten years ago the U.S. Senate voted unanimously and created National Pollinator Week. This week reminds us of the vital role pollinators play in providing our world's fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. According to the Pollinator Partnership,...

Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 6:22 AM

Late-harvest processing peaches produce more profit, new UC studies show

Major differences between extra-early and late harvest peaches are return price, yield and fruit thinning cost.

Tree fruit growers can receive premiums for delivering certain extra-early varieties of peaches, but peach farmers may net roughly $800 more per acre from late-harvest processing peaches than extra-early harvest varieties, according to new cost...

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 4:19 PM
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