Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture

Welcome!

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

Spring Cleaning for Pest Prevention

A clothes moth larva with its feeding case attached. (Credit: DH Choe)

Spring has arrived and with many Californians at home due to local coronavirus directives, now could be an opportune time for some spring cleaning. This annual ritual also has the benefit of preventing and reducing indoor pests. Cleaning and...

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Disinfectants are pesticides–so use safely!

Antimicrobials include several categories of products. To maintain virus-free surfaces use a disinfectant or a virucide.  Sterilants are generally more toxic and reserved for critical environments like hospitals. Infographic courtesy Enviroxyclean.

What do “pest control” and public health campaigns against SARS Cov-2 have in common?  Both activities use pesticides.  In the eyes of the law, sanitizer and disinfectant products are considered pesticides.  And if you're a...

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2020 at 12:09 PM
  • Author: Mike Merchant

Using hydrogels to develop a yellowjacket bait

Figure 1. Western yellowjacket baiting with the hydrogel bait. After a short handling behavior on the bait, yellowjackets flew away with a small piece of the hydrogel bait. (Credit: DH Choe)

Many parks, recreational areas, and outdoor venues in California are home to yellowjacket wasps (Vespula spp.). Yellowjackets are commonly attracted to human food items, creating a serious nuisance and a potential stinging threat. If found, nests...

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

"Virus Shut Out" is Illegal Product in U.S.

Front

U.S. EPA Acts to Protect the Public from Unregistered “Virus Shut Out” Product Imported into Honolulu and Guam Unsubstantiated claims to protect against viruses threaten public health   HONOLULU – Today, the U.S....

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 2:15 PM

Detecting Drywood Termites in Structures with Microwave Technology

Figure 1: Western drywood termite (<i>Incisitermes minor</i>) immatures. (Credit: S. Taravati)

Western drywood termites (Incisitermes minor, Figure 1) are an important pest of structural wood in California, causing millions of dollars in damage annually. These termites are very cryptic, hidden in their galleries within wood members (pieces of...

Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM
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