Urban Agriculture Business Information Bundle

Welcome to the Urban Agriculture Business Information Bundle (BIB)

Producing Food in Cities

Urban agriculture refers to food production in urban areas, whether it is for personal consumption, commercial sale, education or therapy. It can take a variety of forms, including:

  • gardening and livestock raised in backyards
  • container gardening on balconies or rooftops
  • community gardening and city allotments

Despite the density of urban development, there are many opportunities to grow fruit and vegetables within city limits and even raise fish and livestock. Currently about 15 per cent of the world's food is grown in urban areas, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

However, there are risks and issues that must be considered, particularly when it comes to raising livestock in cities. For this reason, many municipalities have established bylaws governing urban agriculture.

Using This Site

This Business Information Bundle serves as a central website for information about urban agriculture for you, whether you're a city-dweller who wants to produce fruit or vegetables or raise livestock, or you're a municipal policy maker exploring the topic.

Finding Space looks beyond the backyard to container gardening, rooftop gardenting and community gardening.

Soil Quality will help you assess and improve your soil, while the Composting section offers tips on how to convert table scraps and garden waste into organic material to enrich your soil.

On the Growing Fruit and Vegetables and Raising Livestock pages, you'll find information on general production practices, food safety and biosecurity, pest and disease management and relevant legislation, as well as information on specific crops including herbs and animals.

Under Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticide Ban, most urban producers are prohibited from using pesticides. The Organic Production page provides more information on using organic techniques to ensure a good harvest, as well as details on organic certification.

While many urban residents are interested in simply producing food for their own consumption, Selling Your Products covers marketing, food safety and legislation/regulations for those considering commercial production.

Dealing with Wildlife offers tips on minimizing the damage that can be caused by neighbourhood pests and a wide range of wildlife found within city limits.

Relevant Legislation and Regulations is required reading for producers and policy makers alike.

Other Links

Below you'll fink links to courses, workshops, organizations and other helpful websites.

Courses

University of Guelph - Sustainable Urban Horticulture/Agriculture Certificates

Organizations

Farmers' Markets Ontario
Master Gardeners of Ontario
Ontario Horticultural Association

Websites

City Farmer News

Workshops

Everdale Environmental Learning Centre
Little City Farm

About this Information

The information contained in this website is not authoritative and may not be applicable to the viewer's circumstances. Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Ontario are provided solely for the convenience of visitors. The government is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or the reliability of the content. The government does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the linked websites and their content The Government of Ontario assumes no liability for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Prior to commencing any projects or initiatives, it is recommended that you consult resources relevant to your project or initiative and seek advice from qualified professionals.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 28 January 2011
Last Reviewed: 27 October 2014