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

Designing Urban Farms

Edendale Grove Urban Farm in Los Angeles

Note: This post is first of a series in which we will recap our UC ANR Urban Agriculture Workshops. We'll share key points, as well as links to videos and handouts. Even if you couldn't make it in person, you can still access the content. Finding land...

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019 at 10:21 AM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Grow it: Gardening tips and resources

Home, school and community gardens improves family and community health and resiliency. (Photo: Jill Wellington, Pixabay)

Gardening is fun…and it's an important activity. What we grow in school, home and community gardens can improve our health, and the health of our families and communities. What we grow can increase the resiliency of food systems in our...

Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Summer safety: Tips to avoid foodborne and heat illnesses

Check the internal temperature of meat cooked on the barbecue with a thermometer to make sure it has reached a safe temperature - 145 degrees for roasts, 160 degrees for ground meats. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Happy summer! It's time to get the barbecue grilling and the pool party started. To keep your summer healthy and fun, UC ANR offers some important safety tips. Food safety Food poisoning is a serious health threat in the United States,...

Posted on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 8:53 AM

Can you taste barley varieties in beer? UC ANR scientist wants to know.

UC Cooperative Extension advisor Konrad Mathesius is doing research to find out if the variety of barley used in beer-making affect the flavor of the brew.

Different varieties of hops can be used to create an array of flavors and styles of beer. Does the variety of barley used in beer-making affect the flavor of the brew? This is a question UC Cooperative Extension advisor Konrad Mathesius hopes beer...

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 2:51 PM

Outdoor Baiting for Cockroaches

Figure 3. Turkestan cockroaches attracted to spilled food. (Credit: A Sutherland)

Two species of Blatta cockroaches can be common peridomestic pests in California, including the familiar oriental cockroach (B. orientalis) and a relative newcomer, the Turkestan cockroach (B. lateralis, Figure 1).  Adults of both species are large...

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 8:58 AM

UC IPM Celebrating 40 Years

UC IPM Staff in 2018 (Credit: Marty Martino)

The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Established July 1, 1979 with funding from the California Legislature, UC IPM built upon a growing movement to reduce dependence on...

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 2:08 PM
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