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

Rat Management in School and Community Gardens.

Rat trap management

It is important for food-safety reasons to manage rats in school and community gardens. Rats and other wildlife can carry a number of diseases that can be deposited in the form of urine and feces on fruit, vegetables, and in the soil. Rats can also...

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 6:08 PM

Urban Farm Story: Sacramento’s Yisrael Family Urban Farm

Chanowk Yisrael 4 14 18

Yisrael Family Urban Farm is located on a double lot in the South Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, at the home of owners Judith and Chanowk Yisrael. South Oak Park is one of Sacramento's underserved communities; it has been called a “food...

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2018 at 2:37 PM

Keeping Your Birds Safe from Disease

Chicken with surgical mask

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has identified several cases of virulent Newcastle disease in small flocks of backyard birds in Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. The initial case was detected at the UC Davis...

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 3:32 PM
  • Jennifer McDougle: Veterinarian, Animal Health Branch, Tulare District Office

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Bristly Oxtongue Lives Up to its Name

Mature plant of bristly oxtongue. (Credit: Larry L. Strand)

This summer, you may have noticed what looks like a large dandelion plant covered in blisters growing in your lawn or landscape. It's known as bristly oxtongue, and if you examine or touch it you'll see and feel why. The stems and flower bracts are...

Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Honey Bee Day Reminds us to Protect Bees Year-Round

Adult honey bee collecting pollen on zinnia. (Credit: Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Saturday, August 18 is National Honey Bee Day! Many people are concerned about the health of honey bees, and rightly so, as there has been a decline in their populations during the last decade. This year on National Honey Bee Day, learn how you can...

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Why 'AA' is for Avocado Addict

The avocado, often thought of as a vegetable, is really a fruit and it's packed with potassium. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're like most of us, you “go bananas” for a banana for breakfast. It's healthy, nutritious and packed with potassium. But wait! You should probably go bananas for another fruit--that pear-shaped avocado. Did you know the avocado...

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 8:22 AM

Stinknet, an Emerging Invasive Weed

Stinknet plant. (Credit: Ron Vanderhoff)

I recently attended a Santa Ana River Orange County Weed Management Area (SAROCWMA) meeting and there was an opportunity for participants to update the group about new invasive plants as well as give an update on management of these and others. During...

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 11:00 PM

Summer Pests? Video Solutions!

Summer is all about being outdoors and enjoying camping, swimming, playing, and other activities with family and friends. But it's a real drag when pests such as ants, yellowjackets, or mosquitoes ruin the fun.

When you have a pest problem and...

Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 10:00 PM
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