Seven Trees, Seven Practices: Demonstrating Agroforestry in the Western Pacific
On the UOG campus at a cliff line site, where feral pigs are a problem, a demonstration micro-plot has been established for training purposes of both program participants and staff. Fruit trees from the selected seven species have been planted in the micro-plot these include: breadfruit, key lime, soursop, calamansi, pomegranate, mulberry and fig. We also planted sweetsop, ice cream tree, avocado, and jackfruit, as well. In the spaces between the young fruit trees, intermediate short term (2-5 year) fruit crops such as bananas and papayas were planted. Then in between these intermediate fruits, short term crops like lemongrass, edible leaf amaranth, cucumber, eggplants, long bean, and sweet potato have been planted so that all space is filled within the micro plot. These vegetables will be under crop rotation with other vegetables, leafy greens and herbs until the fruit tree canopy fills the space. This demonstrates how in small plots fruit trees can be established while producing short term crops at the same time so that there is immediate income generated on the plot.
This demonstration site has been fenced in utilizing t-posts, and galvanized wire fencing for protection from feral pigs. Key conservation practices in place are sheet mulching, mulching, composting, drip irrigation, contour planting, contour trenches, fruit tree windbreaks, living mulch, and nitrogen fixing hedgerows.
Fruit tree propagation for, participant use, is ongoing. Fruit tree species include; breadfruit, fig, mulberry, jackfruit, soursop, calamansi, key lime, pomegranate, papaya, and banana. Other plants are propagated for conservation practices like sweet potato (groundcover/living mulch), morongai, and lemongrass (vegetative barriers). Once the participants plots are ready short term high value vegetable crops will be propagated these include but are not limited to: eggplant, hot pepper, cucumber, green bunching onions, long bean and various leafy greens and herbs.
If the budget category changes are allowed we plan to start farmer subcontracts during March and April for site preparation in May and June at the beginning of the rain season. We will probably request a one year no cost extension at this point.
Given the above project delay, the objectives/ performance targets are changed as followed:
1 a. On the UOG campus, a clifflline site where feral pigs are a problem was identified as the location for a demonstration micro-plot to be established between January to August 2016. 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. During Year 1 Quarter 1 (Q1) (July-September 2016), the PI and Project Manager will conduct a second round of 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. Finally, all producers will convene to discuss the units’ conservation plans and timelines and finalize site plans. The Project Manager and Nursery/Office Assistant will start plant material propagation as soon as project award is announced.
2. Implement agroforestry demonstration micro-plots with five producers in the initial cohort. For Year 1 Q2 (October- December 2016), 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. During Year 1 Q3-4 (January – June 2017), the PI and Project Manager will facilitate a mentorship process, coordinating two farm workshops for each quarter targeting the secondary cohort. Initial producers will explain their plot plans, give hands-on practice, and conduct demonstrations.
4. Assist 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. For Year 2 Q1 (July-September 2016), the secondary cohort will develop micro-plot plans and establish their sites.
5. Develop seven workshops around key agroforestry practices, targeting the general public. The PI already has a curriculum on conservation practices from prior CLTC 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, in Year 1 Q3-4 (January-June 2017), the PI, Project Manager, and the initial producer cohort will research, 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. These workshops will occur throughout Year 2 Q1-4 (June 2017-June 2018), with one to two workshops occurring per quarter. The workshop format will include presentations, hands-on practice, and site visits. 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.
Several site assessments were conducted by the PI during the end of 2015 rain season.
Farmer additions were made to the initial cohort. Three farmers chose to retire from active farming and asked to be removed from the program, but prior to leaving they recruited 3 additional farmers (including 1 US military veteran).
Tom Camacho, Linda Reyes, and Angie Mendiola have stepped down and replaced with:
A meeting was held in December 2015 between the PI, Cooperative Extension staff, and the new initial cohort to discuss the new program timeline, issues, farmer preferences, and parameters of the grant. Since this time we have remained in touch with our farmer partners as we have tried to prepare materials and subcontracts.
The plan was to buy the time of an Extension Agent I as program manager at the beginning of the rain season in July 2016. The group agreed to start the project activities in July of 2016. This has been delayed to March 2017.
Propagation of both fruit and vegetable seedlings for project initiation is still ongoing.
Established a fenced and promotional signage micro-plot on the UOG campus demonstrating all 7 trees and 7 practices.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Proposed new timeline developed based on transferring fiscal management to RCUOG.
The on-campus demonstration site has been used for WSARE New and Veteran Farmer training on sheet mulching, marking contour lines, and establishing vegetative filter strips as well as school tours during October to December 2016.
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