Have you been thinking about starting an urban farm on your property, or a community garden in your neighborhood? Are you wondering how many chickens your city will allow you to keep, if at all?
While we've shared a few resources with you here (on poultry ordinances in Los Angeles) and here (on agriculture regulations for every city in the county), there is one single site where you can locate everything from current laws and zoning information to the ins and outs of starting your own farm. That's the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Urban Agriculture (or Urban Ag) site.
While Urban Ag doesn't explicitly compile all of that information directly on its site, it links to reliable sources online (such as the USDA, other university extension services, or agritourism boards) where you can go if, say, you were wondering how to budget for a school garden or what the current state of the drought is. Anything and everything related to urban farming, business management, production, food safety and handling, community and school gardens, and zoning and regulations within California are covered on the site.
This saves you endless hours of Googling random keywords and searching online forums for your answers, as you can browse by category using the site map or, better yet, enter your search terms on the site for a curated list of results that are related to your question and region.
Here are a few things you might find useful on Urban Ag:
- Designing an edible landscape or building a raised bed
- Composting, vermiculture, and building fertile soil
- Recommended planting dates for California gardeners
- Identifying pests on edible crops
- Drip irrigation installation and maintenance
- Beekeeping in California and native plants that our pollinators love
- Raising sheep, goats, and other livestock
- Principles and design of aquaponic systems
- Community gardens and growing food on public properties
- Grade-specific activities and curriculum for school gardens
- Information on AB 551, California's Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones Act, which provides tax breaks to urban landowners who put their vacant lots to agricultural use (we previously wrote about this law when it was passed)
Bookmark the Urban Agriculture site for more gardening and homesteading resources.