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.

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.

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

"[A]ccess to land, capital, and markets is creating the necessary environment for farmers to manage a profitable urban farm."  This website "provides information and resources specific to urban agriculture. It includes information on community gardens, as well as information for helping urban farmers manage risks associated with farming urban soils."

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.

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.

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.

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."