“As soon as school was out for the summer, my brothers, sisters, and cousins all started working in the fields,” says Jim Maier, the 5th generation to work the 600-acre H.A. Maier farm that’s spread out along the Erie Canal in Spencerport, NY. “There were 10 of us and we really worked—we picked vegetables, loaded wagons, planted crops. When I look at our farmland, I remember my dad and granddad working it. My family’s worked this land since 1892—that gives you a kind of sense of pride.”
“Living and working on a family farm is very rewarding,” adds Jim’s daughter, Brooke Deconinck, who works with her father and other family members. “Being able to work with our family every day allows us to grow stronger as a family and stronger as a business.”
“We like working with Wegmans because they stand behind their word. We know Wegmans is there for us and they know we’re there for them.”
– Jim Maier
In the fall, Jim’s family provides us with several delicious varieties of hardy winter squash like butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti, and pie pumpkins. “Squash really flourish in this region,” Jim says. “We say squash doesn’t like wet feet, they do best in soil that drains well. The sandy loam soil around here is perfect, and the cooler summers help, too. We start harvesting around the first of September until about mid-October. Butternut needs to be picked before the frost, so, some years, we really have to hustle.” Every harvest season, over ten thousand 42lb boxes of squash are delivered to Wegmans—that’s about 140,000 delicious winter squash!
“My dad and uncle started delivering produce to Wegmans in the late 1960s-early 1970s. We like working with Wegmans because they stand behind their word. You can feel that commitment when you talk to them. We know Wegmans is there for us and they know we’re there for them.”
Squash is a familiar holiday side dish, but it’s a great nutritious choice to add to your Half-Plate Healthy meals throughout the season. The various colors of squash come from different, health-supporting nutrients and plant compounds. Here are a few of our favorite winter squash varieties and their unique nutritional benefits: