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

Growing Food & Land Access/Security with Urban and Peri-Urban Farms on Faithlands

Interfaith Food and Farms Conference

On August 25th, UCCE's Urban Ag & Food Systems Program tabled, paneled and supported the 8th Annual Food, Faith and Farms Conference in San Rafael, CA, hosted by Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative. The national Faithlands Conference,...

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 2:54 PM

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...

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Webinars: Spiders, Pesticides and Water!

Jumping spider eating a fly. [Credit: Jack Kelly Clark]

Are you concerned about pesticides in our waterways? Join us on August 18, 2022 at noon for UC IPM's free monthly webinar to learn how to keep surface water clean by reducing pesticide use and runoff. The webinar will be presented by Karey...

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 5:54 PM

Agave: The new drought-tolerant California crop?

UC Davis to study whether agave could be a drought-tolerant and sustainable crop in California. Photo by Stephan Hinni on Unsplash

UC Davis to study agave sustainability as tequila, mezcal industry grows Agriculture in California faces an uncertain future as drought, wildfires and other climate extremes become more commonplace in the West. But a fledgling industry...

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at 11:22 AM
  • Author: Emily C. Dooley, UC Davis

Growing cereal crops with less fertilizer

Eduardo Blumwald, right, of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, with postdoctoral researcher Akhilesh Yadav, and rice they and others on the Blumwald team modified to use nitrogen more efficiently. Photo by Trina Kleist, UC Davis

Discovery could reduce nitrogen pollution, save farmers billions Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops. The discovery could save farmers in the...

Posted on Friday, August 5, 2022 at 10:10 AM
  • Author: Emily C. Dooley, UC Davis

Bot Canker: Have You Heard of It?

Thinning canopy is an early sign of Bot canker. [Credit: J. Downer]

Ever heard of Bot canker? "Bot" stands for Botryosphaeria which is a plant disease that results in cankers of trees and other woody plants.   This fungal disease can be worse under drought conditions when trees are stressed. Early symptoms like...

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 9:51 PM

Redgum Lerp Psyllid Resource Updated

Leaves of a river red gum eucalyptus tree covered with redgum lerp psyllids. The white growths are the “lerp” produced by the immature (nymph) stage of the insect. [Credit: Jack Kelly Clark]

If you have eucalyptus trees, you might have noticed white, crusty growth on the leaves. Or maybe you saw a sticky, blackened mess of fallen leaves under a eucalyptus tree. These are signs of the redgum lerp psyllid, one of the most common psyllid pests...

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 9:29 AM
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