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

Rat Management in School and Community Gardens.

Rat trap management

It is important for food-safety reasons to manage rats in school and community gardens. Rats and other wildlife can carry a number of diseases that can be deposited in the form of urine and feces on fruit, vegetables, and in the soil. Rats can also...

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 6:08 PM

Urban Farm Story: Sacramento’s Yisrael Family Urban Farm

Chanowk Yisrael 4 14 18

Yisrael Family Urban Farm is located on a double lot in the South Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, at the home of owners Judith and Chanowk Yisrael. South Oak Park is one of Sacramento's underserved communities; it has been called a “food...

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2018 at 2:37 PM

Keeping Your Birds Safe from Disease

Chicken with surgical mask

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has identified several cases of virulent Newcastle disease in small flocks of backyard birds in Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County. The initial case was detected at the UC Davis...

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 3:32 PM
  • Jennifer McDougle: Veterinarian, Animal Health Branch, Tulare District Office

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

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

Mosquitoes in Garden Centers

Culex mosquito larvae. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

This article was written for the UC IPM Retail Nursery and Garden Center News, a publication directed at retail nursery store employees. With the recent confirmed human West Nile virus deaths in California, it's important to understand how...

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Tips to prepare, plant, and grow a fall vegetable garden

Missy Gable, Director of the UC Master Gardener Program shares tips for keeping a fall vegetable garden producing.

The transition of fall is upon us and gardeners are busy tending to late summer harvests, pruning back perennials, prepping for slower plant growth and more. But fall doesn't have to be all about wrapping up the growing season. In fact, life is...

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 1:19 PM

UC IPM Hiring Pesticide Safety Writer

48181 original

The UC Statewide IPM Program is hiring a Pesticide Safety Writer to provide technical and administrative support to two programs: the Office of Pesticide Information and Coordination (OPIC) and the Pesticide Safety Education...

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Backyard Helpers

Adult mantis. (Credit: Jack Kelly Clark)

Praying mantids are well-known predators we often see lurking around gardens, landscapes, and sometimes near porch lights, waiting for a tasty meal to arrive. Praying mantid adults are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long and are usually yellowish, green, or...

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 11:23 AM
Webmaster Email: vtborel@ucanr.edu