Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture

Welcome!

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.

WOW Farm, Richmond, CA below BART commuter line

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.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

UC ANR Urban Agriculture Blog

Upcoming Agroecological City Conference to Focus on Food Sovereignty, Food Justice

FFAR 2021 Instagram

What does it mean to build a just and sustainable Agroecological City? Over this past year, the pandemic, climate disruptions and ongoing harm caused by racial violence have challenged our urban communities and food systems in unprecedented ways....

Posted on Friday, February 5, 2021 at 2:35 PM

Backyard livestock and peri-urban agriculture

Sheep

The urbanization of society has long since pushed people far away from producing their own agricultural products and into relying on imported goods from rural areas. However, there is an increasing trend in recent years to have livestock and poultry in...

Smoke and ash from wildfire may have lingering impacts in food production

A summer of smoke and ash in many parts of California has raised questions about the safety of produce growing on farms and in the garden, eggs laid by chickens who peck around in ash-laden areas, and remediation needed to safely and effectively grow...

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:55 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Cover cropping season has begun: Free recorded webinars, demos available

A pollinator mix of cover crops sprouts on an almond orchard floor at J&R Ranches in Manteca. Photos by Kamyar Aram

Cover crops, typically planted in early fall, deliver a host of agricultural and conservation benefits. But many growers have gone away from planting them due to technical challenges and extra costs associated with the practice. In partnership with...

Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 9:43 AM

Pectin is not gelatin

Making strawberry jam with pectin helps preserve the bright color. Photo credit: National Center for Home Food Preservation

If you only have time to read this much: pectin is vegan-friendly. I was having lunch at an outdoor venue with a lovely vegetarian friend. When we got around to all things canning, I told her how excited I was to try a sugar-free jam recipe using a...

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 1:52 PM
  • Author: Maureen Ladley, UC Master Food Preserver of Solano/Yolo Counties

Webinars Now on YouTube

What is IPM

We are pleased to announce our new YouTube playlist for the Urban & Community IPM Webinars. Currently available recordings include: What is IPM? Navigating the UC IPM Website and New Features Springtime Household Pests Plant Diseases and...

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 8:00 AM

No break for kids’ hunger: Partnerships help secure school meal programs

The voices of San Joaquin Valley parents and families informed influential policy briefs on school meal programs. Photo courtesy of Dolores Huerta Foundation

Partnering for California As the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic hit communities across the U.S. in mid-March 2020, the policy team at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Nutrition Policy Institute received an urgent email from a longtime partner...

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 2:27 PM

New Resources for Herbs and Vegetables

Oregano plant in pot.

Now is the time for planting cool-season vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and spinach. We are pleased to share new pest management resources for other cool season vegetables including beets, chard, radishes or turnips. If you're planting herbs, we've...

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu