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

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


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

CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE educators and promotoras teach children gardening to encourage healthy eating

A group of kids water their school garden.

When local promotoras - volunteer health workers - team with CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Cooperative Extension educators, magic happens in school gardens. Trained by Ceres Partnership for Healthy Families in Stanislaus County, promotoras encourage...

Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 8:31 AM

The Dangers of Homemade Pest Control Remedies

Figure 1. Pesticides made from household ingredients lack the details needed to safely and effectively control pests. (Credit: B Messenger-Sikes)

Instructions for making homemade mixtures to control pests are easy to find online and in social media, and it's tempting to make your own home remedy when pests invade. Doing so may seem like a natural, organic, and non-chemical solution, but did you...

Posted on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 4:08 PM

Seasonal Insect Pests in the Home

Adult fungus gnat (Credit: J Green, University of Nebraska Extension)

As the weather warms up, we see more insect activity in gardens and landscapes, and you may also notice more activity of insect pests in your home. Common insect pests found indoors in springtime can include carpet beetles, fleas, fungus gnats, and...

Posted on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 2:51 PM

Organic alfalfa hay cost study released

A new UC cost study shows potential profits in growing alfalfa organically for the organic dairy market. Photo by Rachael Long

A new study that outlines costs and returns of establishing and producing organic alfalfa hay has been released by UC Cooperative Extension, the UC Agricultural Issues Center and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource...

Posted on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 10:38 AM

CattleCal podcast launched for cattle ranchers

The new podcast CattleCal discusses cattle research. It is co-hosted byPedro Carvalho, UC Cooperative Extension feedlot management specialist.

Cattle ranchers have a new source for cattle research news from UC Cooperative Extension. CattleCal podcast is produced by Pedro Carvalho, UC Cooperative Extension feedlot management specialist; Brooke Latack, UC Cooperative Extension livestock...

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 1:22 PM
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