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

Urban Farms, Food Safety, and Food System Resilience During COVID-19

Urban Farm Produce

As our world grapples with the containment of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), essential services including food provisioning remain vital to the health and well-being of our communities. Yet, many small farms are struggling as they face rapid decline...

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 3:47 PM

Healthy Animals, Healthy People Survey

Backyard Poultry Survey

If you have backyard livestock or poultry or are a small-scale producer of livestock or poultry, this survey is for you. This questionnaire asks about the specific practices and perceptions that you apply to your animals' health, husbandry, and...

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 12:13 PM

Designing Urban Farms

Edendale Grove Urban Farm in Los Angeles

Note: This post is first of a series in which we will recap our UC ANR Urban Agriculture Workshops. We'll share key points, as well as links to videos and handouts. Even if you couldn't make it in person, you can still access the content. Finding land...

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 10:21 AM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Stay Away from Stinging Insects

honey bee I-HY-AMEL-AD.020

The last weeks of summer are here and many are maximizing time outdoors, whether in yards, parks, or natural areas. As you enjoy the sunshine and perhaps a picnic, it is possible you may encounter different types of stinging insects such as bees and...

Posted on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:54 AM

Rats in the Garden

Rat damage on tomato. (Credit: B Messenger-Sikes)

If you are growing tomatoes in your garden, you may not be the only vertebrate going for your hard earned harvest. Are rats feasting away in the garden? We have a couple resources we can share to help you reduce or prevent rat damage to your...

Posted on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 3:18 PM

Former goat herder’s crop research promotes prosperity for Imperial Valley farmers

Oli Bachie, shown in a forage sorghum trial field, researches new crops for Imperial County farmers to grow in the low desert.

This is one of a series of stories featuring a sampling of UC ANR academics whose work exemplifies the public value UC ANR brings to California. Oli Bachie, “person of the globe,” researches new desert crops to spur economic growth While...

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Report Unsolicited Seeds to APHIS

Unlabeled seeds from unsolicited packages.

Have you had unexpected seeds show up in the mail? Unknown seeds could be invasive plants, contain invasive insects, or have plant disease causing agents. Here's what the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service...

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 5:26 PM

Healthy vending grows in popularity on UC campuses

Healthy options, calorie counts and reminders help consumers make good-sense decisions when buying food or beverages from vending machines.

Raw hunger or thirst usually draws people to buy snacks from vending machines. Healthy options, calorie counts and reminders help consumers make good-sense decisions when they slip in coins or a credit card, according to research by a working group...

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 1:39 PM
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