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

Event Name
Date

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

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...

Does Urban Agriculture Improve Food Security?

Student Farming WOW Farms, Richmond CAcr

A newly published literature review in the Journal of Sustainability conducted by a team of Berkeley Food Institute researchers has found that while many studies cite the potential food security benefits of urban agriculture (UA), there are few that...

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

For family fun and treats - a winter farm visit

WillowCreek

California farmers all over the state invite you to visit, shake off the city, learn a little and enjoy your holiday shopping the old-fashioned way; direct from the growers of winter fruits and creators of small-batch treats to fill your gift baskets....

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2018 at 12:53 PM

Lemon water tasting at UC research center kicks off an 18-month citrus sensory study

USDA technician Paul Neipp presents a tray for lemon water tasting in one of the sensory lab booths.

What flavors do you detect in a sip of lemon water? Are there notes of sweetness, sour, off flavors or fresh citrus taste? Scientists at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the USDA want to know every subtle taste sensation for...

Posted on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 8:06 AM

Brown Recluse

Brown recluse spider. (Credit: Rick Vetter, UCR)

No we aren't here to tell you we found one. Because brown recluse spiders do not live in California. Don't believe this last statement? Then please read the recently updated publication Pest Notes: Brown Recluse and Other Recluse Spiders by UC Riverside...

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 11:22 PM

Honey: Nothing short of miraculous

A honey bee sips honey from honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

“Honey, please pass the honey!” That simple request, prefaced with a term of endearment for good measure, means there's honey on the table. And well there should be. As the daughter, granddaughter and great-great granddaughter (and beyond)...

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 9:26 AM

Eat a Bug for Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday UC IPM

#GivingTuesday is November 27! Want to know how you can support the work we do here at the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program to help you understand and control pests around your home and landscape? Your gift will further UC IPM's...

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 9:57 PM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu