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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

University of California.

What is urban farming? Find information on starting an urban farm, business management, agricultural production, food safety, laws and regulations, community and school gardens, and more.

University of Missouri Extension Service.

"This report provides an overview of urban agriculture and local food system resources and practices across the United States and parts of Canada, with a primary emphasis on providing resources that can encourage and support urban agriculture in Missouri’s metropolitan areas." The Urban Agriculture project Website includes a searchable database of urban agriculture resources, articles, educational information, and zoning ordinances in the U.S. and Canada.

Cornell Small Farms Program.

This guide informs urban farmers about farming in or near urban centers, raising urban livestock, urban crop production, business planning and financing, marketing, codes and regulations, and much more. It identifies subject experts, Extension resources, factsheets, and topical publications. PDF also available.

Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

The Handbook provides guidance for organizations or communities interested in developing an urban farm on vacant sites or cleaned brownfields. It instructs on writing a business plan and developing marketing, operating and financial strategies. Worksheets are provided.

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.

United Nations. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

International perspectives on urban food security and nutrition, urban and periurban food production and land tenure, food marketing and distribution and more.