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Urban Agriculture

Welcome to UMass Extension Urban Agriculture, a program dedicated to supporting and enhancing urban farming in Massachusetts. Urban Agriculture has a rich history in our state, with roots dating back to the Great Depression and beyond. Over the years, the residents of many cities and towns have benefited from and been witness to the innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness of urban farmers who are independent entrepreneurs,  members of mission-driven organizations, volunteers, and more. In addition to growing and providing fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, these groups and individuals also create community and contribute to restoring justice and equity in one of the most basic requirements of human survival - food. 

Urban agriculture (simply defined as farming in cities) has many similarities to traditional farming and farming methods. However, due to space restrictions, municipal laws, soil and light limitations, and other obstacles, engaging with agriculture in cities like Springfield, Lawrence or Boston presents a unique set of challenges. We are excited to be part of your urban farming journey and look forward to supporting you in your endeavors. Welcome to our community!

UMass Agriculture Extension is here to help urban farmers in several ways:

  • Educational Resources
    We provide educational resources for urban growers of all sizes and all crops. Our goal is to assist you with staying informed about the best horticultural practices and technology for a sustainable agriculture that is productive and beneficial to people and the environment. Over time, this website will provide a growing set of offerings developed by UMass and others with relevant expertise. We will also share educational information via social media and email news (see below).
  • Consultations and Site Visits
    The UMass Extension Urban Ag Team is available to address your questions and make site visits as needed to urban farms in Massachusetts to advise on how you can best utilize UMass Extension services on a broad range of issues. If you request a visit, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible to determine how we can best answer your questions and arrange for a visit for more detailed information and assistance. 
  • Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing
    Our Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory offers services to help you understand the health of your soil and fertility needs of your crops. We can assist in interpreting results and recommendations for your urban farm.
  • Plant Diagnostic Services
    Our Plant Diagnostic Laboratory offers identification services and management recommendations for plant diseases, as well as insects and weeds. This can help you address issues promptly and effectively, ensuring the health and productivity of your crops.

Mentor Farm Program

We are pleased to announce the UMass Extension Urban Ag Mentor Farm project, a recent initiative created by UMass Extension specifically for the urban ag community across Massachusetts. This program is designed to empower urban farmers and foster sustainable agricultural practices while improving outcomes for everyone growing in urban landscapes. Drawing inspiration from the successful UMass Extension Vegetable Program’s Mentor Farm initiative, our program aims to work closely and intensively with three different urban farmers/projects each year, providing sustained engagement with Extension staff and services and helping them tackle their most challenging issues over a sustained period.

2024 Mentor Farm Update 

We are excited to share that we have selected our first group of urban agriculture mentor farms: 

  • Nordica Street Community Farm, Springfield (HERE
  • Regional Environmental Council's YouthGROW program, Worcester (HERE)
  • Urban Farming Institute, Boston (HERE)

Each farm chose a program focus of vegetable (and some fruit) pest management. Over the course of the season, we will be working with the mentor farms to develop tailored pest management strategies that will be applicable to each farm. We will be hosting on farm events throughout the summer and fall of 2024. Please stay tuned for more details on the program's progress! 


UMass Extension is grateful for support of this initiative by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Northeast SARE) program under subaward number SNE23-004-MA-AWD00001024.

Subscribe to our Newsletter (select Urban Agriculture and any other listed UMass Extension newsletters you would like to receive)


UMass Urban Farm Extension (@umassurbanagext) • Instagram photos and videos


Ibrahim Ali
Urban Agriculture Educator III
French Hall (3rd Floor)
UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003 Tel: (413) 545-2786
Olivia Golden
Urban Agriculture Educator III
Mount Ida Campus
100 Carlson Ave
Newton, MA 02459