Seven Trees, Seven Practices: Demonstrating Agroforestry in the Western Pacific

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2015: $47,899.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Guam
Region: Western
State: Guam
Principal Investigator:
Dr. L. Robert (Bob) Barber, Jr.
University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Fruits: bananas, berries (other), citrus, figs, papaya, Soursop, breadfruit, mulberry, calamansi, key lime, pomegranate, jackfruit, and sweetsop
  • Nuts: pacific almond
  • Vegetables: cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), okra, peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet potatoes, taro, tomatoes, wing bean, malabar and ceylon spinach, okinawa spinach, spinach tree, long bean, cowpeas, Moringa, pigeon pea, chinese leafy cabbage, arugula, and bunch onions
  • Additional Plants: coffee, ginger, herbs, trees


  • Crop Production: agroforestry, forest farming, multiple cropping, windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, workshop
  • Pest Management: mulches - general
  • Soil Management: organic matter


    In 2010 the Chamorro Land Trust Commission (CLTC) and University of Guam Cooperative Extension Services (UOG-CES) sampled 10% of the agricultural leaseholders and found that more than half were non-compliant with agricultural production conditions. Leaseholders said in surveys that they could not farm their land due to: no water, poor rocky soils, lack of weed control, sloping land, second growth forest or grasslands cover, limited time/labor, and lack of equipment and capital. Auditors also found that leaseholders did not have traditional subsistence agroforestry or commercial production knowledge.  Therefore, they are unfamiliar with how small subsistence/market garden hybrid and agroforestry/cash crop production systems incorporating soil and water conservation practice could address their perceived production constraints. 

    Guam’s hospitality industry’s growing preference for locally sourced produce has increased demand for tropical fruit. But despite the demand, existing farmers are reluctant to invest time and space to fruit trees because they would receive no income during the years before a tree becomes productive.  Arable land on Guam is very expensive and scarce, yet with a climate suitable for year-round production and high prices for local fruit and vegetables, farming is profitable on less than ideal land. For many small subsistence/small market farms land is not the only constraint. These systems must also address how much and what kind of labor is available. The micro-plot concept, defined as 1/10 acre or 400 square meters, with a forest market garden approach is used in this project to demonstrate growing the farm one micro-plot at a time. This a sustainable agriculture model that will provide biodiversity, efficiency, and increase in household income by reduced produce purchases and sales of excess produce.

     “Seven Trees, Seven Practices” was planned as a two-year agroforestry (forest garden) demonstration and education project. The project was extended to almost four years with no-cost extensions. It leveraged a peer education model projected to reach up to 140 total workshop attendees. Producers establish forest garden micro-plots by planting three of seven fast-to-fruit trees (breadfruit, key lime, fig, calamansi, soursop, mulberry, pomegranate) and implement three of the seven core USDA NRCS EQIP-approved agroforestry/conservation practices (fruit tree windbreaks, nitrogen fixing hedgerows, sheet mulching/mulching, vegetative filter strips, cover crops, contour farming practices and drip irrigation.) 

    The seven fast-to-fruit trees were selected to rapidly meet local restaurants’ demand for local tropical fruit and provide faster returns. In the spaces between the young fruit trees, intermediate term (1.5-5 year)/perennial and high value desert fruits, leafy greens, and root crops such as bananas, papayas, spinach tree, and cassava are planted.  Then in between these intermediate term crops, short term crops like lemongrass, Malabar and Ceylon spinach, Chinese kale, Okinawan spinach, pechay, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, bunch onion, basil, taro, long bean, wing bean, pepper, okra and sweet potato are planted so that all space is filled within the micro plot. These annual plants are under crop rotation with other vegetables, leafy greens and herbs until the fruit tree canopy fills the space.  Other trees maybe incorporated and conservation practices followed to address specific farmer/site concerns.

    Curriculum (Extension publications, power point presentation, and other handouts) was developed and farmer workshops were held throughout the project period.  During the dry and rain season of 2016, 2017 and 2018 they were held on campus using the cliff line demonstration plot.  In 2018 workshops were held both on campus and in the farmer micro-plots allowing participants to see the seven fast to fruit trees and seven conservation practices in the farmer fields and learn from the core farmer team.

    Project objectives:

    The updated objectives/ performance targets and activities are as follows:

    1 a. Establish on the UOG campus on a cliff line site, where feral pigs are a problem, a demonstration micro-plot for training and workshops.  This demonstration will include fencing for protection from feral pigs. 

    1 b.  Create and formalize demonstration farm plans with the five producers in the initial cohort and start plant propagation. The PI and Project Manager will conduct site visits to assess and discuss the potential micro-plot site with each producer. The Project Manager will coordinate planning meetings to discuss overall constraints, plant materials, and conservation practices. Each producer will select tree species, agroforestry, and conservation practices. 

    2. Implement agroforestry demonstration micro-plots with five producers in the initial cohort.  UOG will distribute plant materials to initial producers. Initial producers will begin tree planting from the seedlings/cuttings and institute conservation practices. The Project Manager will implement a monitoring process by which all parties can document and learn from successes and challenges of the demonstration plots.

    3. Formalize the mentorship relationship between the initial and secondary cohorts. Once the initial farmer plots are established the PI and Project Manager will facilitate a mentorship process, coordinating farm workshops in the initial farmer plots targeting the secondary cohort. Initial producers will recruit new participants and explain their plot plans, give hands-on practice, and conduct demonstrations.

    4. Provide outreach educational opportunities for a secondary producer cohort, comprised of three to five farmers or community groups, in the establishment of their own agroforestry micro-plots, leveraging the mentorship and workshop involvement of the primary producers.  Desired behavior outcome is for members of the secondary participants/cohort to start their own micro-plot plans and establish their sites.

    5. To meet objective 4 develop seven workshops around key agroforestry practices, targeting the general public. The PI has a curriculum (PowerPoint’s) on several of the conservation practices from prior New Farmer workshops. The Project Manager will oversee a review process by which initial producers can provide input on revisions; the Project Manager will then finalize it. Additionally, the PI, Project Manager, and the initial producer cohort will develop, and write, new educational materials about the fast-to-fruit trees. Educational materials will include Power Point presentations, Extension publications, and resource lists. The secondary producer group will provide feedback on the educational materials targeting beginning to intermediate-level farmers.

    6.  Implement seven workshops around key agroforestry practices and seven fast to fruit trees. These workshops will occur throughout the second year. The workshop format will include presentations, hands-on practice, and site visits/on farm workshops. Workshop participants will be recruited through networks such as the Northern and Southern Soil and Water Conservation District voter rolls, Chamorro Land Trust leaseholder lists, the Cooperative Extension client base, and networks of the secondary producer groups.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.