By Michael Shain
Every June for as long as anyone in Douglaston can remember, Zion Church, the 186-year-old Episcopal congregation on Northern Boulevard, has held a strawberry festival. The longtime organizer, Julia Schoeck, and her husband trek out to the Anderson family farm in Riverhead on the Friday before to pick up the berries — 536 quarts in all this year.
These are not the pebble-hard strawberries you get in the supermarket but fat, red things with a couple of inches of stem still attached. A total of 67 flats of fruit are usually sold out by 2 p.m.
The rest of the church grounds are turned over to a barbeque, flea market, book and bake sale — the kind of afternoon that hasn’t changed in Douglaston since God was a young boy.