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

Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

Image of children with harvest

When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully...

Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 9:23 AM
  • Author: Aleta Barrett
  • County: UCCE Placer/Nevada

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?

41549 original

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Two UC graduate students chosen to assist UC ANR Global Food Initiative efforts

Melanie Colvin, left, and Maci Mueller.

Two University of California graduate students have been selected by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources as UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) fellows for 2018-19. Graduate students Melanie Colvin at UC Berkeley and Maci Mueller at UC Davis will work with...

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 3:43 PM

Dark Rover Ant: Current Status in California

Figure 1. Dark rover ant (Credit: Siavash Taravati, UC IPM)

[From the Fall 2018 issue of UC IPM's Green Bulletin newsletter] The dark rover ant (Brachymyrmex patagonicus) is an invasive species which is increasingly being noticed in Southern California. It is a nuisance species that invades structures as both...

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 10:42 AM

Updated Landscape Weed Info

Mallow (cheeseweed). [Credit: Jack Kelly Clark]

Controlling weeds can be challenging to landscape professionals or home gardeners since landscapes often include a mix of turfgrass, annual plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and trees. The newly revised publication Pest Notes: Weed Management in...

Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 10:53 AM

Sticky mess on plants

Feeding by aphids created this sticky honeydew on crape myrtle leaves. (Credit: Belinda Messenger-Sikes)

Are you seeing cars, sidewalks, driveways, or other plants covered in sticky stuff, especially those under trees? This sticky substance, called honeydew, is produced by certain insects that excrete it when they feed on plants. Plant leaves look shiny and...

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 3:06 PM

What is a pesticide?

Pesticides on shelf. (Credit: Anne Schellman)

When you hear the term “pesticide,” what comes to mind? Do you understand what pesticides are and, more importantly, how to use them correctly? A pesticide is any material (natural or synthetic) used to control, prevent, kill, suppress, or...

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 9:19 AM
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