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

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

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

UC Food and Agriculture Blogs

Food insecurity and childhood obesity: Is there a connection?

Children from food-insecure households were more likely to be overweight or obese and less frequently ate breakfast or dinner with family. (Photo: Gtorres8944stash)

A well-nourished population requires that all members of society have access to sufficient amounts of nutritious food. Unfortunately, food insecurity continues to be a staggering problem throughout the world with negative consequences in terms of health...

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 1:21 PM
  • Author: Kathy Beerman, Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University

Planting alternative backyard fruit trees in Southern California can help stop citrus threat

Jean Suan harvests persimmons, fruit that is easy to grow and creates a beautiful landscape display.

Southern California's mild Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for growing fruit trees in backyards, community gardens and school gardens. The trees provide wholesome fruit along with shade, beauty and enrichment for families and...

Posted on Monday, September 9, 2019 at 10:24 AM

Retail Newsletter Summer 2019 Edition

Chemical resistant gloves for applying pesticides. (Credit: C Reynolds)

The latest issue of the Retail Nursery and Garden Center IPM Newsletter is now available. In this newsletter we address the science surrounding herbicides, personal protective equipment when using pesticides, and our upcoming training exclusively for...

Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 1:50 PM

Monitoring armyworms in rice helps reduce damage

Armyworm monitoring, combined with the registration of insecticides that are effective at controlling armyworms, has resulted in better control of the pests and less yield losses.

Armyworms can be a serious pest in rice. The worms can eat the rice foliate or panicles, and cause yield reductions. In 2015, a severe outbreak of armyworms caught rice growers by surprise, resulting in yield losses. In a 2018 survey conducted by UC...

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2019 at 10:01 AM

Wood Decay Fungi in Landscape Trees

A conk, the fruiting body of the fungus <i>Phellinus ignarius</i> on black walnut. (Credit: AJ Downer, UCCE Ventura County)

Landscape trees provide welcome shade, fruit, homes for wildlife, and even a place for kids to climb. But if the wood is damaged, disease-causing fungi can infect the tree. A number of fungal diseases decay wood in both tree branches and trunks,...

Posted on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 9:56 AM
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