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

Urban Farms: Seed Starting Diseases

Seedling on right has damping off disease. One on left is healthy.

It's beginning to look a lot like spring, so many small growers try to save some money by starting seeds in growing systems and then plant the transplants to get a jump on weeds and other pests like slugs that can decimate a direct-seeded crop. But...

Posted on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 8:37 AM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Don't Let Yellowjackets Spoil Your Summer

Adult western yellowjacket. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

Yellowjackets have a well-deserved reputation for being aggressive since they often sting when defending their nests or when they encounter people while out scavenging for food.  This time of year, yellowjacket colony populations are increasing,...

Posted on Sunday, August 26, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Don't Move Firewood!

Don't Move Firewood!

[From the Summer issue of the UC IPM Retail Nursery & Garden Center News] When you use firewood in the great outdoors, be aware that moving firewood can transport tree-killing insects and diseases. Find out more at the following...

Posted on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Bristly Oxtongue Lives Up to its Name

Mature plant of bristly oxtongue. (Credit: Larry L. Strand)

This summer, you may have noticed what looks like a large dandelion plant covered in blisters growing in your lawn or landscape. It's known as bristly oxtongue, and if you examine or touch it you'll see and feel why. The stems and flower bracts are...

Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2018 at 8:00 PM

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
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