Urban Agriculture
University of California
Urban Agriculture

Welcome!

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.

WOW Farm, Richmond, CA below BART commuter line

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.

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

UC ANR Urban Agriculture Blog

Urban Farms, Food Safety, and Food System Resilience During COVID-19

Urban Farm Produce

As our world grapples with the containment of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), essential services including food provisioning remain vital to the health and well-being of our communities. Yet, many small farms are struggling as they face rapid decline...

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 3:47 PM

Healthy Animals, Healthy People Survey

Backyard Poultry Survey

If you have backyard livestock or poultry or are a small-scale producer of livestock or poultry, this survey is for you. This questionnaire asks about the specific practices and perceptions that you apply to your animals' health, husbandry, and...

Posted on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 12:13 PM

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Masks and Covers in the Garden

Juvenile racoon (Credit: L Fitzhugh)

These days, most people are wearing masks when out in public for personal protection for themselves or others. In nature, there are a few pests that have their own type of face coverings, markings, or that other types of protective covers or...

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 11:07 AM

Stars and Stripes

Yellow starthistle flower<br>(Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

While many of you are preparing for the 4th of July holiday, we at UC IPM are also thinking about stars and stripes but in a slightly different way: yellow starthistle and striped skunks. We usually have pests on the brain, so we wanted to remind you of...

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Climate-change research provides tools for farmers to adapt

Tapan Pathak, left, and Mahesh Maskey adjust sensors in a strawberry field in 2018. Working with Surendra Dara, they have developed a model to forecast weekly crop yields based on weather data.

This is one of a series of stories featuring a sampling of UC ANR academics whose work exemplifies the public value UC ANR brings to California. Farmers are already seeing the effects of warmer winter nights and hotter summer days on their crops....

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2020 at 9:56 AM

National Pollinator Week 2020

Adult honey bee,<i>Apis mellifera</i>. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

This year, National Pollinator Week is June 22 to June 28, celebrating the value that pollinators such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles provide to the ecosystem. Pollinators, and natural enemies, can be harmed by pesticides when people are...

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2020 at 9:55 AM

Study finds 82 percent of avocado oil rancid or mixed with other oils

Avocados hang on a tree at UC South Coast Research & Extension Center. “Consumers seeking the health benefits of avocado oil deserve to get what they think they are buying,” says Selina Wang.

Consumer demand is rising for all things avocado, including oil made from the fruit. Avocado oil is a great source of vitamins, minerals and the type of fats associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. But according to new...

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 5:38 PM
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