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

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

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

Food Policy Councils are Emerging as a Model to Address Gaps in Local Policies

Food Policy Council Meeting in Los Angeles

In a growing number of communities, food policy councils (also called “food system alliances”) have emerged to address gaps in local policies that focus on food. Most communities have transportation, housing or land use policies, but food...

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 3:49 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Plantain weeds Pest Notes updated

Rosettes and flowers of broadleaf plantain, Plantago major.<br>(Credit: K Windbiel-Rojas)

Plantains are common weeds in lawns, athletic fields, ornamental plantings, roadsides, and pastures. Two species, broadleaf and buckhorn plantains (Plantago major and P. lanceolate) are commonly found throughout California year-round. Plantains grow...

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 11:24 AM

In person and over the airwaves, Yang strives to help Hmong farmers prosper

Michael Yang examines broccoli rabe, one of about 200 crops grown by the Hmong farmers he advises.

This is the third in a series featuring a few scientists whose work exemplifies UC ANR's public value for California. Keeping current on government regulations, agricultural marketing news and crop research advances can be...

Posted on Monday, February 24, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Seniors grow food and friendships in gardening, healthy living program

Eden Housing residents are able learn about nutrition, food safety and gardening concurrently at their living facilities.

“I didn't know I would get so much soil today, now I can grow more cucumbers in my room!” said Miss Anita as she placed fresh soil into her plant pottery on Community Planting Day. The Estabrook Place resident was a first-time participant...

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 4:32 PM
  • Author: Andrea Jacobo, UC Global Food Initiative fellow

Armillaria Root Rot in Landscape Trees

Armillaria mushrooms grow in clusters, have a ring around their stem, and are tan to honey colored. (Credit: J Turney)

What is Armillaria Root Rot? Armillaria root rot is a severe fungal disease that affects trees, woody plants, and some herbaceous plants including palms and succulents. Also known as oak root fungus, Armillaria root rot can rapidly kill trees and...

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 4:08 PM

'Healthy Beverages in Early Care and Education' online class for California child care providers

drinking milk

The University of California is providing a free online course, Healthy Beverages in Early Care & Education, in English and Spanish for child care providers in California. The 30-minute on-demand class is a friendly way to learn about the latest...

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 12:05 PM
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