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

Eat a Bug for Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday UC IPM

#GivingTuesday is November 27! Want to know how you can support the work we do here at the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program to help you understand and control pests around your home and landscape? Your gift will further UC IPM's...

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 9:57 PM

Trying leafy greens from a sweet potato plant

Sweet potato leaves in Ethiopia - Horticulture Innovation Lab photo by Lauren Howe/UC Davis

This time of year, it can be hard to resist the pull of sweet potatoes — roasted, mashed with butter, and topped with a combination of delectable treats from maple syrup to pecans to marshmallows. But did you know that the green leaves of the...

Posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 9:02 AM

Job Opening: Urban IPM Educator

Syphid fly on flower.

The UC Statewide IPM Program, which is a part of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is hiring for an Urban IPM Educator. This position is part of the Urban and Community IPM unit. Under the direction of the Associate Director for Urban...

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 5:15 PM

Watch livestream: Food leaders convene in San Diego Nov. 14

SanDiego FB AD Live1

Food Tank is hosting its inaugural summit, titled “Growing the Food Movement,” on Nov. 14 in San Diego at the Illumina Theater. The event is co-sponsored by the Berry Good Food Foundation, the University of California's Division of...

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 2:16 PM

Reducing the Spread of Invasive Pests in Cut Wood

Figure 1. Firewood left behind from tree care operations can harbor pests. (Credit: Karey Windbiel-Rojas)

[Originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of the Green Bulletin. Modified slightly from original.] Invasive insects and diseases are threatening numerous tree species throughout the country. Impacts include tree mortality, destruction of forest and...

Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 2:41 PM
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