With 2017 right around the corner, let’s take a look back at the top five stories that caught our readers’ eyes in 2016.

1. Fruit Trees in the High Desert

As interest in heirlooms and organic growing methods expands, Gordon Tooley and Margaret Yancey of Tooley’s Trees in Truchas, New Mexico, may have a bit of an edge in an economic downturn. By maintaining a smaller inventory than larger, factory-type growers can afford to, as well as minimizing tree loss by holistic practices, the couple are savoring the success of spreading the word about delicious heirloom fruit in a small but growing market.

2. Farmstead Supplies & Value-Added Products 

Looking for farmstead supplies and value-added products? Look no further than this list.

3. Crop Focus: Successful Squash

Growers looking for a crop to round out their roadside market offerings or sell to commercial buyers should look at summer and winter squash as possible revenue sources. Wherever they are located, farmers grow two main types of squash, summer and winter, both of which have their own sub-groups. Summer squash can be categorized by three primary variations: zucchini, yellow squash (straight and crookneck), and Hubbard. Some varieties have a bush-type growth instead of the vining habit. These are worth considering in areas where space is at a premium.

4. Harvesting Equipment: What Do You Need?

What are some of the harvesting equipment options for growers operating in the small to mid-range scale? Is there scale-appropriate harvesting equipment that makes the job more efficient, while still being affordable? What factors impact the decision to invest in mechanized harvesting equipment? We answer any questions about harvesting equipment.

5. Twin Garden Farms’ Famous Mirai Sweet Corn 

Whether it’s sweet corn from Twin Garden Farms’ on-farm market, from one of about 70 area farmers’ markets or from Twin Garden Farms’ website, the extremely sweet and tender Mirai sweet corn enjoys steady popularity among customers, and Mirai seed has gained popularity around the world.