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.

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

Are your birds safe from avian influenza?

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Are your birds safe from avian influenza? Take UC's biosecurity survey to see how you score Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in January 2017 killed birds at commercial poultry farms and backyard flocks in the UK, China and South...

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:43 PM

CA Youth Share Experiences with Urban Agriculture

Urban farmer Mia talks about crops at the Community Services Unlimited Expo Farm in South Los Angeles.

Urban agriculture provides an excellent opportunity to integrate community development and youth empowerment while sharing information about growing food in diverse urban settings. In 2015 and 2016, staff from UC SAREP and UC Cooperative Extension...

Posted on Friday, December 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM

The Case for Removing Weeds From Growing Areas

London Rocket Flowering Stem

One point I always make is that the sooner you control annual weeds, the better. This reduces crop-weed competition, along with a host of other issues caused by weeds (we'll save that for another blog). But the real key to forward-looking weed management...

Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:18 PM

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Honey Bee Day Reminds us to Protect Bees Year-Round

Adult honey bee collecting pollen on zinnia. (Credit: Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Saturday, August 18 is National Honey Bee Day! Many people are concerned about the health of honey bees, and rightly so, as there has been a decline in their populations during the last decade. This year on National Honey Bee Day, learn how you can...

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Why 'AA' is for Avocado Addict

The avocado, often thought of as a vegetable, is really a fruit and it's packed with potassium. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're like most of us, you “go bananas” for a banana for breakfast. It's healthy, nutritious and packed with potassium. But wait! You should probably go bananas for another fruit--that pear-shaped avocado. Did you know the avocado...

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 8:22 AM

Stinknet, an Emerging Invasive Weed

Stinknet plant. (Credit: Ron Vanderhoff)

I recently attended a Santa Ana River Orange County Weed Management Area (SAROCWMA) meeting and there was an opportunity for participants to update the group about new invasive plants as well as give an update on management of these and others. During...

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 11:00 PM

Summer Pests? Video Solutions!

Summer is all about being outdoors and enjoying camping, swimming, playing, and other activities with family and friends. But it's a real drag when pests such as ants, yellowjackets, or mosquitoes ruin the fun.

When you have a pest problem and...

Posted on Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Hot Weather Tips for the Summer Garden

Most Californians don't have a desert landscape designed to withstand the limited water and high temps like the desert garden display at the UC Santa Cruz botanical garden. (Credit: Lauren Snowden)

This week much of California is under a heat advisory or excessive heat warning, with high temperatures estimated to range from 90 to 108 degrees. Many home gardeners are wondering how they can help their plants, trees, or shrubs survive the intense...

Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 8:00 PM
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