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

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 Workshop series. 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...

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

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

With access to native foods, Native American families less likely to face food insecurity

Nearly all of the Native Americans surveyed in the region said they want more native foods such as salmon. Photo courtesy of Klamath Tribes Food Security

Native Americans suffer from the highest rates of food insecurity, poverty and diet-related disease in the United States. A new study finds that Native American communities could improve their food security with a greater ability to hunt, fish,...

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 1:38 PM

California takes the lead on hybrid sunflower seed production

Rachael Long takes notes on sunflower seed production.

Enjoying a tasty sunflower seed snack? Cooking with sunflower oil? Thank a California sunflower seed grower for producing the hybrid seed that's used for planting sunflower crops throughout the United States and the world, for confectionery and oil...

Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 11:45 AM

Drain After the Rain

Reduce breeding habitats for mosquitoes by dumping standing water from flower pots or storing them upside down so they do not collect water.<br>(Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

Whether you're having a backyard barbecue or enjoying outdoor activities as the weather warms up, it's important to protect yourself from mosquitoes and their bites. Not only can these buzzing insects be a nuisance, certain mosquito species can...

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 7:15 AM

Reduce Soil Pests with Sunlight

Clear plastic is laid over planting beds to elevate soil temperatures. (Credit: K Windbiel-Rojas)

Soil solarization is a method home gardeners and farmers can use to manage soilborne pests such as weeds, disease pathogens, nematodes and insects. Solarization can reduce help reduce pesticides used to control these pests. Soil solarization is...

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 9:38 AM

Garbanzo bean production guide published for small but thriving industry

Rachael Long examines a garbanzo field in California for stand health.

Try topping your salads with some tasty garbanzo beans this summer. Not only are they a healthful source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but the ‘green' legumes are produced in California with a small environmental footprint! California...

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 3:01 PM
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