Annual peach festival returns this weekend

The peach is perhaps the most versatile of all the fruits.

Of course, one simply can bite into a fresh peach off a tree, but there are several other ways to enjoy one.

If you’d like one with a slice of toast, simply create a peach jam.

How about some for dessert? There’s always peach pie for that.

If you are looking for something even more exotic, you could even attempt peach melba, a syrupy peach dessert, or add peaches to a stir-fry.

While the members of Milford’s Church of Our Saviour may not be that ambitious with their peaches, they still love the fruit and will be selling it in a number of ways at the church’s eighth annual Peach Festival on Aug. 20.

The event will take place at Lull’s Farm Stand on Route 13 in Milford from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and will feature recipes like homemade peach pies, peach breads and natural and sugar-free peach jams.

“We have everything you can think of,” said Jean Treadwell of Milford’s Church of Our Saviour. “There are going to be over 200 pies there, but they really sell out quickly so people should get there quite early.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward local nonprofit charities like SHARE Outreach, which provides food and clothing to the needy in the Milford area, and Habitat for Humanity.

Christine Janson, director of SHARE, said the event will give the charity a boost, which is needed during the notoriously scarce summer months.

“We have a lot of food pantries, and during the summer, we continue to see increased demand because students are home and they aren’t getting food from school,” Janson said. “And we see a decrease in donations as well. Families go on vacation, they’re away, so we see less. And the money will go towards that.“

While the theme of the event is certainly the peaches, which will be available at every meal in forms like peach shortcake, there will be other forms of entertainment that do not include food.

These include events for children such as a bounce house and an assortment of games.

Local craftspeople also will be at the event to offer their products for sale. Musical acts will perform, with previous acts ranging from the Souhegan High School Jazz band to the performances of local pop and country singer Marlena Phillips.

The festival began eight years ago as an additional fundraiser for the church and other nonprofit organizations from around the Milford area.

“We would always hold a Christmas fair in December, but, and this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we always ended up having it at the same time as every other church in our area,” Treadwell said.

“… We decided to start with an additional fundraiser at another time, and we figured that August was a good time. People are freer from work. There’s just more time to prepare and make these pies.”

So the Church of Our Savior teamed up with Lull Farm and decided to make 100 pies, which seemed like an impossible feat. However, that amount proved to be bakeable, and members of the Milford community at the event quickly purchased the pies.

Looking back on it, the 100 pies look like a tiny amount, as the church has tripled the number of pies over the past eight years and has added jams, breads and other peach-related dishes.

The increased amount of dishes being sold also indicates the increased popularity of the event.

“I really think that over the years, the reputation of the event has really grown within our community and helped to bring it together,” Treadwell said. “It has grown with the church and really with the town, and that’s wonderful.”

Robbie Feinberg can be reached at 594-5833 or rfeinberg@nashuatelegraph.com.