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

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

Gopher Management in School and Community Gardens

Pocket Gopher: Ag Natural Photography by Ed Williams

Pocket gophers, more commonly known as gophers, are one of the most common vertebrate pests found in school and community gardens. They are known for their extensive burrow system through the soil and also for the damage that they can cause to plants...

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

UC ANR Online Courses have moved to eXtension

A single hose pesticide application in a landscape. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

Attention Pest Management Professionals! Are you looking for continuing education units (CEUs) to complete your renewal application this year for the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)? The UC Statewide IPM Program and...

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 3:17 PM

Making the case for fruits and vegetables

A

Why do you love fruits and vegetables? Is it their bright colors? Their many shapes and varieties, the way they can makeover your plate with the seasons? The opportunity to taste local terroir in a very fresh bite of fruit or forkful of...

Posted on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 8:18 AM

Eating healthy on a limited budget is possible, but any cuts in SNAP or rise in food costs make it harder

With menu planning and access to stores selling items in bulk, Karen Jetter of the UC Agricultural Issues Center found the average daily cost for serving healthy meals to a family of four was $25 in 2010 dollars.

The affordability of healthy food is often cited as a barrier to low-income families eating nutritious meals. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that with menu planning and access to stores selling items...

Posted on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 9:01 AM

Insect Pests on Citrus Trees

Asian citrus psyllid adult and eggs on young citrus leaves. <br>(Credit: M. Lewis, CISR)

[This post has been modified from the article originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of the Retail Nursery and Garden Center IPM News.] Citrus trees remain a popular choice for home gardeners in California, largely due to their ease of care,...

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7:30 AM

Citrus Leafminer

Figure 1. Winding tunnels on a citrus leaf caused by feeding of a citrus leafminer larva. <br>(Credit: E. Grafton-Cardwell, UCCE)

[This post has been modified from the article originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of the Retail Nursery and Garden Center IPM News.] Citrus leafminer is a moth that arrived in California in 2000 and...

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 7:30 AM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu