224 West Winton Ave., Suite 134
Hayward, CA 94544
San Mateo-San Francisco Counties
Santa Clara County
Master Food Preservers
UC Master Food Preserver Program
Contra Costa County
- UC ANR Urban Ag Website
- UC Cooperative Extension Poultry Website
- UC ANR Urban Ag Beekeeping Website with Bee Gardening Resources
- UC ANR Small Farms Program
- UC ANR Urban Ag Workshop Presentations / Handouts Click Topics
- American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA)
Rob Bennaton is the University of California Cooperative Extension Bay Area Urban Agriculture Advisor, supporting small scale food growers, extending knowledge on urban soil quality/resource management and urban ag policy. Rob teaches on urban soil management and heavy metals exposure prevention, is working with local groups on mapping urban food growing sites in the East San Francisco Bay Area, and specializes in providing technical assistance on urban ag/community garden-site governance.
Based in Alameda County, he addresses urban ag related questions and can be found on the UC ANR Urban Ag Website, with many presentations and short fact sheets available via 2017-18 Urban Ag Workshop materials online.
Three UCANR Websites You will Enjoy Checking Out Are:
ANR Strategic Initiatives: http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/
UCANR Urban Ag Website: http://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/
UCANR Urban Ag Workshops: https://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/Urban_Ag_Workshops/Bay_Area_Workshop_Series/
Bennaton has over 26 years of experience in horticulture/community development, habitat restoration and youth programming. Prior to UCCE, he was a Community Coordinator at the NYC Housing Authority’s Garden & Greening Program where he increased program participation to over 3,000 members supporting 743 gardens citywide, leveraged >$4.5 million in-kind resources, and spearheaded the capital project installation of NYCHA’s first rainwater harvesting system and bio-swales.
Previously, he was a Forester for NY’s Department of Parks and Recreation on frontline ecological restoration of the Bronx River, Pelham, Van Cortlandt and Inwood Hill deciduous forests, rivers and salt marses. Working with various non-profits, he has also taught youth/adult staff/volunteers stream bank/forest restoration, led AmeriCorps teams in organic vegetable production for donation to the homeless, homebound AIDS/HIV patients and managed a farmer’s market. He also spent 16 years supervising programming and staff on weekends at an interactive organic children’s farm called the Howell Family Garden at the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
SpecialtySmall Scale Food Production and Soil Quality/Resource Management ; Food and Land Access and Security
Areas of Expertise (click to see all ANR academics with this expertise)
- Plants and Their Systems
- Soil, Plant, Water, Nutrient Relationships
- Alternative Uses of Land
- Business Management, Finance, and Taxation
- Community Resource Planning and Development
Schweiger, J.; Mineo, E.; Bennaton, R. (2019). Gardening After a Flood: Best Gardening Practices After Flooding. http://cesantaclara.ucanr.edu/files/259468.pdf
- Sowerwine, J.; Oatfield, C. (2018). California Urban Agriculture Food Safety Guide: Laws and Standard Operating Procedures for Farming Safely in the City. UC Berkeley, UC Cooperative Extension, and the Sustainable Economies Law Center. 113. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ak2_8zQMYCWoVD32tW-ZJTvUdXEhHZHE/view
Diekmann, L., Bennaton, R., Schweiger, J., Smith, C. (2017). Involving Extension in Urban Food Systems: An Example from California. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension. 5(2): 70-90. June, 2017.
Matzen, Sarick; Bennaton, Rob; Arnold, Joshua; Pallud, Célline (2021). Protecting Urban Food Growers from Harmful Chemicals in Soils.
Chiarella, Cristina; Lamoureaux, Yulia; Pires, Alda A.F.; Surls, Rachel; Bennaton, Rob; Van Soelen Kim, Julia; Grady, Suzanne; Ramos, Thais M.; Koundinya, Vikram; DiCaprio, Erin (2021). A preliminary assessment of food policy obstacles in California’s produce recovery networks. Journal of Agriculture and Human Values.
Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio (2021) Growing Food & Lands Access/Security with Urban and Peri-Urban Farms on Faithlands. https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=50706
Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio (2021) Equitable & Sustainable Food in the 18th. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1quxlIrjVbpPXBF0BttZwPBnVEcK1jiYH3RFJ9c3fRIA/edit
Kamyar, Aram; Contreras, Julio; Bennaton, Rob (2021). Cover Cropping on a Small, Diversified Farm with Mathew Sylvester. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDtA6cGFj64
Kamyar, Aram; Contreras, Julio; Bennaton, Rob (2021). Cover Cropping for Pollination & Soil Health with Chris Rishwain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH2aoaytnok
Kamyar, Aram; Contreras, Julio; Bennaton, Rob (2021). Cover Cropping on an Urban Farm with Ray Harts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCBXk4Eo7g&feature=youtu.be
Bennaton, Rob; Kamyar, Aram; Contreras, Julio; Riesman, Clare; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping on Urban Farms with Clare Riesman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIQQnwRXQu8
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Synk, Billy; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping Principles, Practices, and Opportunities with Emphasis on Pollinator Benefits with Billy Synk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k75WG8-V0Is
Bennaton, Rob; Giovannini, Karen; Garcia, Sara; Contreras, Julio (2021). Cottage Food Operation Webinar in Spanish Report - El Programa Operaciones De Alimentos Hechos En Casa.
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Leap, Jim; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping Benefits, Challenges, Methods, and Tips with Jim Leap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2EtLQhTn9s
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Light, Sarah; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping in Annual Cropping Systems with Sarah Light. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXLS31hWlt0
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Lloyd, Margaret; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping in Annual Systems with Margaret Lloyd. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYltDGlGxVQ
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Wauters, Vivian; Gaudin, Amelie; Jarvis-Shean, Katherine; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping in Orchards with Vivian Wauters, Amelie Gaudin, and Katherine Jarvis-Shean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1xkofaClxU
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; McGourty, Glenn; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping in Vineyards with Glenn McGourty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScZJknAo0G8
Contreras, Julio; Bennaton, Rob; Kamyar, Aram; Leach, Kristyn; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping on Small & Urban Farms with Kristyn Leach. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE5K6eD0wCU
Bennaton, Rob; Kamyar, Aram; Contreras, Julio; Pearson, Gary; Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek. (2021). Cover Cropping Planning & Establishment for Small to Medium-sized operations with Garry Pearson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RNIrB7erB0
Kamyar, Aram; Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio. Weise, Ben; Emmons, Derek; Phrakonekham, Brenda; (2021). Financial Help Opportunities for Cover Cropping with Contra Costa RCD and NRCS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXODONeBKbM
Bennaton, Rob; Pires, Alda; Baldwin, Roger (2021) Managing Vertebrate Pest for Safe Urban Food Growing. CAPCA Adviser (pg68), October 2021
Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio; Ward, Diane (2020) Bay Area Urban Farming Resource Guide. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vVFyZuBY8xQUvNkqwvACfMcjXc98kheF9315UuTZdss/edit
Testing urban soils for lead: Community-based use of the incremental soil sampling method to increase data quality and accessibility. American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2020 Meeting, Science and Society. Abstract. Poster Session on Community and Citizen Science. Matzen, S.; Arnold, J.; Bennaton, R.; Palud, C.
- Hartin, Janet; Bennaton, Rob (2020). Benefits of Human/Horticulture Interactions. https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/19bPj7fK3LrxLE484hYN-LhPoOj5BQ6T7
Bennaton, Rob; Pation, May; Ruddock, Peter; Ruiz, Brenda; Wong, Melanie (Editors) (2020). California Food Policy Report 2019. Alameda County, CA. California Food Policy Council. https://cafpc933269949.wordpress.com/reports/
Bennaton, Rob (2020). New Berkeley Urban Ag Ordinance Cultivates Growing Food Together. Berkeley, CA. California Food Policy Report 2019. California Food Policy Council. https://cafpc933269949.wordpress.com/reports/
Diekmann, L., Gray, L., Hutcheson, J., Meehan, M., Osland, T., Barney, E., Bennaton, R., Chen, W., Deviney, J., Ettman, K., Gazula, A., Hamilton, D., Leonard, G., Ortiz, D., Schweiger, J. & Thompson, A. (2020). Small Farms, Big Potential: Growing a Resilient Local Food System. San Jose, CA: Santa Clara County Food System Alliance. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55fb5d35e4b0c8599268bb30/t/5e333daad0bf5f06d272fa59/1580416443944/FSA_Report_Final+for+web.pdf
Boekelheide, D.; Carter, T.; Bennaton, R.; Boekelheide, A.. Editors (2019). Garden Therapy: Healing Through Nature. Journal of the American Community Gardening Association, Volume 24.
Raditz, Vanessa; Van Soelen Kim, Julia; Bennaton, Rob et al. (2019). A Community Guide for Assessing the Potential Health Impacts of Locally Grown Produce Exposed to Urban Wildfire Smoke. Produce Safety after Urban Wildfire. Santa Rosa, CA, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. https://ucanr.edu/sites/SCRFC/files/294307.pdf
Bennaton, Rob; Enright, Mimi, et al. (2019). Best Practices for Produce Safety After a Fire. Sonoma, CA. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. September 2019. https://ucanr.edu/sites/SoCo/files/315093.pdf
Bennaton, Rob; Enright, Mimi; Grady, Suzi; O’Brien, Claire; Raditz, Vanessa; Van Soelen Kim, Julia (2019). Community Science Curriculum Toolkit. Produce Safety after Urban Wildfire. Santa Rosa, CA, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. September 2019.
Raditz, Vanessa; Van Soelen Kim, Julia; Enright, Mimi; Wingenroth, Jordan; Bennaton, Rob; Grady, Suzi (2019). Final Report Cumulative Risk Assessment of Local Produce Exposed to Urban Wildfire Smoke: Produce Safety after Urban Wildfire. Sonoma, CA: UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. July 2019. https://ucanr.edu/sites/SoCo/files/308873.pdf
Bennaton, Rob; Contreras, Julio (2019). Growing City Farming Together: A Preliminary East Bay Area Needs Assessment. U.C. Cooperative Extension. https://docs.google.com/document/d/0B2Oc_mXmcvdHV1A5cFh1TU85SURSOEpVMVhaY08xUFB2alhv/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs
- Mitchell, J.P.; R. Bennaton, R. (2019). Urban Agriculture. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. https://youtu.be/Q1pwSAEJ-bI
Ford, N.; Bennton, R. (2018). Alameda County Mapped Group Review Process Meetings-Summary. UCCE Alameda County. June, 2018 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Oc_mXmcvdHV3duT1ZuN0czVm13TThxZzF1UUF0OVdpZUZJ/view?usp=sharing
R. Bennaton, M. Robles, J. Wilson (2018). Improving Your Soil Quality for the Urban Food Grower. (Video). Urban Agriculture. Soil Not Oil Coalition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_o3JiEpZ7I
“Extension’s Role in Urban Agriculture” by Lucy Diekmann, Julie Dawson, Jacqueline Kowalski, Brian Raison, Marcia Ostrom, Rob Bennaton & Connie Fisk. May, 2016 – Community, Local & Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Community of Practice https://foodsystems.extension.org/survey-of-extensions-role-in-urban-agriculture-results/
Fox, J. M., Havas, K., Bennaton, R., Hogan, M., Jacobsen, J., Meadows, L. J., Robson, E., Miller Jr., J. F. (2016) Urban County Extension Director Competency Framework. Extension Competencies Identified for the City: https://bit.ly/ExtensionNUEL-CED-CFD
Bennaton, Rob. “The Value of Urban Agriculture.” 2014 Contra Costa Agriculture Dept. Crop Report. Pages 16-17. July , 2015. Web. http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/37267/CropRpt2014
Bennaton, Rob; Dronkers, John. “Composting and Water Conservation”. UCANR Master Gardener Help Desk. February 17, 2015 Blog. Web. UC ANR Urban Ag Website. http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=16800
Pallana, Esperanza; Dekovic, Ariel; Bennaton, Rob. “Cultivating Resistance, an Urban Ag ToolKit to support Oakland’s Independent Food System!”. Oakland Food Policy Council. 2015. Web.
Farfan-Ramirez, Lucrecia; Bennaton, Rob; Sund, Jessica(2014). From the Garden to the Classroom: Building Connections to the Garden for Healthy Living. A Garden-based Education for Early Childhood Children.R. Bennaton. Alameda, CA: 30. Edited by Rob Bennaton. Not Yet Publicly Available due to Need for Pilot Testing.
Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being Through Urban Landscapes. The Re-Greening of Public Housing.L. Campbell and A. Wiesen. Newtown Square, PA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.: Pages 233-247. (2009) https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/8810
ANR Workgroup Associations
- Agriculture and Nature Tourism - Member
- Disaster Preparedness and Response - Member
- Fire - Member
- Landscape and Urban Horticulture - Member
- Urban Agriculture - Member
- Vegetable Crops - Member