Urban Agriculture

Rooster raised in urban agriculture setting. (Copyright IStock)
City and suburban agriculture takes the form of backyard, roof-top and balcony gardening, community gardening in vacant lots and parks, roadside urban fringe agriculture and livestock grazing in open space. Explore information and tools on urban agriculture.
Urban Agriculture Toolkit  ( PDF | 8.7 MB )

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The toolkit identifies and describes technical and financial resources developed by urban farmers, federal and city government agencies, and local organizations that address considerations for new urban farmers. Key resources include: Business Planning/Risk Management; Land Access; Soil Quality; Water Access/Use; Accessing Capital and Financing; Infrastructure; Production Strategies; Market Development; Training and Mentoring; and Safety and Security.

USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service

Resources, success stories, and contact information to get started in urban agriculture with assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Surveys, links and guides including the Urban Soil Primer - an introduction to urban soils for homeowners and renters, local planning boards, property managers, students and educators.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Information and publications from the EPA on urban agriculture. 

"Urban Agriculture is part of a local food system where food is produced within an urban area and marketed to consumers within that area. Urban farming can also include animal husbandry (e.g., breeding and raising livestock), beekeeping, aquaculture (e.g., fish farming), aquaponics (e.g., integrating fish farming and agriculture), and non-food products such as producing seeds, cultivating seedlings, and growing flowers. Urban farms can also contribute to the revitalization of abandoned or underutilized urban land, social and economic benefits to urban communities, and beneficial impacts on the urban landscape" (EPA).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Focuses on brownfield redevelopment for urban agriculture projects. Outlines steps for starting a project; links to success stories and current urban agriculture projects; identifies information and resources available from federal agencies and non-governmental organizations; posts frequent questions and answers; and identifies presentations and other educational materials.

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

"Urban and community agriculture is reshaping local food systems across the country. Urban farmers and gardeners are creating new opportunities for increasing the economic, social, and environmental effects of growing food in and around cities. There are many benefits to growing food in urban areas, such as fewer food miles, improved food access, and education and training opportunities." This site provides information on accessing land, capital, markets, and other informational resources gauged at helping the new urban farmer succeed.

National Conference of State Legislatures.

Find recently enacted state legislation related to "various aspects of urban agriculture – gardening in urban areas, food hubs, and statewide coordination." Includes related reports and statutes.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

The Handbook provides guidance on developing a business plan for the startup and operation of an urban farm, including defining marketing, operating, and financial strategies. It focuses on the use of brownfields or vacant sites to help address food access, neighborhood blight, or community development challenges. Includes Urban Farm Business Plan Worksheets.

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Using baseline data from a 2013 nationwide study of urban agriculture, “this publication seeks to fill some of the gaps in information about urban agriculture in the United States.” It “addresses characteristics of urban farms and farmers, production methods, and challenges for urban farms, as well as technical assistance and information needs.”