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

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

Sheep

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...

Smoke and ash from wildfire may have lingering impacts in food production

A summer of smoke and ash in many parts of California has raised questions about the safety of produce growing on farms and in the garden, eggs laid by chickens who peck around in ash-laden areas, and remediation needed to safely and effectively grow...

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:55 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

How to Use Pesticides Safely

Reading a pesticide label prior to purchasing.

February is a month where we celebrate and acknowledge many things: Black History Month, Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, President's Day, and others. But did you know February is also National Pesticide Safety Education Month? While pesticide safety is...

Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM

Growers refine date palm irrigation with UC ANR research

Fruit bags protect dates from insect damage and dust and prevent the fruit from falling to the ground. Photo by Ali Montazar

California's $86 million date industry produces more than half of the nation's dates. Most of the fruit is grown in the arid Coachella Valley. Despite efforts by growers to conserve water, data was lacking on date palms' actual water use to refine the...

Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:52 AM

New food-safety guide outlines laws and best practices for urban farmers

The Produce Safety Rule regulates the growing, harvesting and packing of produce. Photo by Evett Kilmartin

Californians growing food in cities now have help understanding the food safety laws that apply to them. A free publication containing California-specific information on rules and regulations for urban farmers was recently published by the University...

Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:53 AM

UC ANR offers free online trainings on direct sales and agritourism

Agritourism NewsRelease Banner

The economic shocks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed California's farmers and ranchers to quickly embrace new business practices — including creative new ways to sell directly to consumers. UC ANR and partners are offering an...

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 12:16 PM

Stop Illegal Pesticide Sales Online

US EPA Logo and Header

EPA orders Amazon to halt illegal pesticides sales  News Releases from US EPA Region 10 - February 9, 2021   The Seattle office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has issued a...

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 3:39 PM
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