FARMINGTON — Since the Pierce House celebrated its grand 100-year anniversary in 2005, it has been the tradition for Old South First Congregational Church to serve up strawberry shortcake on July 4.

Most years, volunteers from Old South pick the berries fresh from David and Verna Pike’s farm on the Whittier Road. Historically, volunteer pickers gather in the morning and harvest more than 100 pounds of the red ripe berries.

Boxes of picked berries are then transported to the Old South kitchen where another group of at least six volunteers wash, hull and mash the strawberries adding just the right amount of sugar. Each year the Pikes have supported the annual strawberry shortcake event by donating a generous portion of the berries.

Early on the morning of July 4, at least 300 biscuits are baked in the church’s kitchen. Once the biscuits are baked, all the ingredients and supplies are taken to the Pierce House and the serving area is set up under a tent on the Pierce House front lawn. Each year there is always someone wanting their shortcake before the setup is complete.

Volunteers staff the assembly line, making each shortcake as perfect as possible with a fresh baked biscuit, a generous scoop of Pikes’ locally grown fresh strawberries and a generous squirt of whipped cream. Serving is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or until the berries or biscuits run out, at 208 Main St.

The cost for a serving will remain the same as last year at $4 each. Proceeds from the sale of the strawberries will benefit community service and outreach through improved handicapped accessibility to the Old South Church’s Newman Wing. The winter warming center, support groups and other community events are held in the Newman Wing addition.

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