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

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

Food Policy Councils are Emerging as a Model to Address Gaps in Local Policies

Food Policy Council Meeting in Los Angeles

In a growing number of communities, food policy councils (also called “food system alliances”) have emerged to address gaps in local policies that focus on food. Most communities have transportation, housing or land use policies, but food...

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 3:49 PM

Lucy Diekmann, Ph.D. joins UCCE as Urban Agriculture and Food Systems Advisor for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Lucy photo

I am delighted to be joining University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) as the Urban Agriculture and Food Systems Advisor for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Silicon Valley's culture of innovation, diverse culinary traditions, fertile...

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 10:22 AM

Gopher Management in School and Community Gardens

Pocket Gopher: Ag Natural Photography by Ed Williams

Pocket gophers, more commonly known as gophers, are one of the most common vertebrate pests found in school and community gardens. They are known for their extensive burrow system through the soil and also for the damage that they can cause to plants...

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Easter Egg Hunt 2019

3.

It's time for our second annual Easter Egg hunt! Can you guess which pests laid the eggs pictured below? These pests may already be hiding in your backyard or garden. Leave a comment with your guesses. Answers will be posted at the end of the...

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 8:39 AM

Citrus: Preserve it now to serve it safely later

Master Food Preserver Barbara Mattice, left, helped Mosbacher demonstrate citrus preservation in class.

Winter is the time when many backyard citrus trees and roadside fruit stands are laden with mandarins, lemons, navel oranges and limes. A UC Cooperative Extension expert is traveling the state to teach how the fresh taste of citrus can be preserved for...

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 8:46 AM

Visit UC IPM at Picnic Day 2019!

Convergent Lady Beetle Adult (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

This Saturday, April 13th, is the annual Picnic Day celebration at UC Davis. Join the UC Statewide IPM Program from 9am to 3pm at the entomology building Briggs Hall on the UC Davis campus. We'll have lady beetles (ladybugs) to give away,...

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 3:02 PM

Ground Squirrels: Furry Foes

Adult California ground squirrel. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

  Although they're small, cute, and furry, ground squirrels can be a real pest for California residents and gardeners. Found throughout California, burrowing ground squirrels cause damage to landscapes and structures while feeding on ornamental or...

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 8:48 PM

The Truth About Termites

Termite Awarness Week Infographic

Spring is here which means pest activity is on the rise. Termites are one of the top pest concerns for many city dwellers and rural residents alike. The infographic shows some interesting facts about termites. Here in California, there are three kinds...

Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 8:45 PM
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