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

It's National Honey Bee Day! (August 19th)

monitoring captioned

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:51 AM

Keep an Eye out for Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew on rose. (Jack Kelly Clark)

This time of year, you may notice a white, powdery looking growth on fruit, vegetable plants or ornamental plants in your garden. What is it? It could be powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is caused by several different fungi that may attack plant leaf...

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:25 AM

Sunpreme raisins a hit at the UC Kearney Grape Day 2017

Sunpreme raisins drying on their own in a Kearney vineyard.

Excitement over the new Sunpreme raisins was evident at UC Kearney Grape Day Aug. 8, 2017. As soon as the tram stopped, dozens of farmers and other industry professionals rushed over to the vineyard to take a close look and sample the fruit. Raisins...

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 11:38 AM

#Collabatition: A new network of food hubs looks past competition to help each other succeed

Boxes of melons loaded into Capay Valley Farm Shop's truck, headed for buyers in the Bay Area.

In today's food system, large scale food distribution has become the standard way food moves from farm to market.  The system works well to feed a lot of people, and has allowed us to eat tomatoes in December and send...

Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 9:56 AM

Go back-to-school with a garden

Students learning about Propagation at

It's that time already when the kids start heading back to school and meals go back to a strict schedule. It can be easy to turn to take-out and other convenience foods to make meal times more manageable, especially during the rush of back-to-school....

Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11:24 AM
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