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

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

The Case for Removing Weeds From Growing Areas

London Rocket Flowering Stem

One point I always make is that the sooner you control annual weeds, the better. This reduces crop-weed competition, along with a host of other issues caused by weeds (we'll save that for another blog). But the real key to forward-looking weed management...

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

Santa Clara County Considers Establishment of Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones

Non-profit group Garden to Table hopes that AB551 will allow it to start more urban farms like its Taylor Street Farm in San Jose.

Santa Clara County is among several California counties and cities now considering local implementation of AB 551, the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone Act, which became state law in 2014. Once enacted at the local level, AB 551 offers a potential tax...

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 10:18 AM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Retail IPM Oakland Registration Deadline Extended-Last Day to Register is Today, January 18th!

Reading labels.

We've extended the deadline-hurry and reserve your space today! Oakland Workshop, Jan. 24, 2017 Register NOW for the Oakland IPM Training for Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers workshop on January 24. Registration is now open to all. Registration...

Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 11:49 AM

Ag labor management seminars offer keys to success in times of labor uncertainty

UC Cooperative Extension will hold workshops in Temecula Feb. 1 and 2 to help California agricultural employers facing many challenges including labor shortages, wage & hour laws, joint liability, worker safety, workers comp insurance, and...

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Registration Deadline for Retail IPM Workshops, Tuesday, Jan. 17

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Are you and your staff registered for one of UC IPM's hands-on, train-the-trainer workshops? Are you UC Master Gardener who would like more IPM training? If so, spaces are still available in both our January 24 and January 31 workshops. Don't miss this...

Posted on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Professionals Get Hands-On Rodent Training

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In October 2016, the University of California Cooperative Extension, Orange County, in association with the Pest Control Operators of California, Target Specialty Products, and Univar, hosted a three-day West Coast Rodent Academy for pest management...

Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:42 PM

Register Today for a Retail IPM Workshop

Examining citrus flush for Asian citrus psyllid. [Photo by Marcy Sousa]

Are you registered for one of the upcoming "IPM Workshops for Retail Nurseries and Garden Centers"? If not, time is running out! Oakland Workshop, Jan. 24, 2017 Registration is now open to all for the January 24, IPM Training for Retail Nurseries and...

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2017 at 4:25 PM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu