Diversified crops at Full Belly Farm. Photo by: Paul Kirchner Studios.


Agroecology is defined as “the integration of ecology in agriculture and food systems, encompassing ecological, economic, and social dimensions” (Adaptation from Francis et al, 2003, Agroecology: The Ecology of Food Systems). Although it is often considered the “science behind sustainable agriculture,” agroecology has evolved to a much broader concept: “Agroecology is not only a science and a practice but a movement for social change” (S. Gliessman). “Agroecology provides the basic ecological principles for the design and management of agroecosystems that are both productive and natural resource conserving…and that are also culturally sensitive, socially just, and economically viable” (Altieri, 1995).

At the Berkeley Food Institute we focus our work on both urban and rural agroecological food systems.

Center for Diversified Farming Systems

The Center for Diversified Farming Systems examines how different forms of agriculture along a spectrum of diversification affect human societies and the environment.


Pollinators are essential members of our food system. Learn about our work to protect diverse pollinators.

Soil Health

Soil health is defined as "the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans." (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Urban Agriculture

BFI supports community engagement, research, education, and policy projects focused on urban food production and distribution of the resulting produce to underserved urban communities.