Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture


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.


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

Growing elderberries in hedgerows adds to farm income, benefits environment

A cluster of elderberries ready for harvest. The white

As the sustainability of agriculture continues to be threatened by changes in climate, pests and loss of biodiversity, the ancient practice of planting hedgerows with edible and medicinal species such as elderberry can help growers generate...

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 12:52 PM

Rodent Awareness Week

rodent awareness infographic

Rodent Awareness Week (October 18-24) is a campaign created by the National Pest Management Association to educate the public about the potential harm associated with rats and mice. In addition to damage to structures and property, rodents can transmit...

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 3:16 PM

Organic agriculture tops $3 billion in California farm gate sales

Organic strawberries ranked second in California organic commodities with $202 million in sales value in 2016. Photo by Joji Muramoto

Organic farming continues to expand in California and now includes more than 360 commodities, according to a new University of California report. The number of organic growers, acreage and farm gate sales revenue is reported by commodity, county,...

Posted on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 2:57 PM

Report finds 10 to 1 return on investment in international agricultural research

Rice field in Colusa County. International agricultural research and development, of the type that drove the Green Revolution, continues to generate a fantastic rate of return, says study coauthor Julian Alston. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark

Society gains $10 in benefits, on average, per $1 invested in international agricultural research and development, according to a new report released today (Oct. 14, 2020) by the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation. “This...

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 1:01 PM

Fall Weed Management in Lawns and Landscapes

Bermudagrass (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to cool, now is the time to practice weed management for annual cool-season weeds. It's also not too early to consider management for weeds that emerge in springtime. Using integrated pest management...

Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 10:06 AM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu