The Fresno State Farm Market at California State University, Fresno will be open the morning of July 4, Tuesday, for the first time in several years, but patrons are urged to stock up on fresh meat and ice cream before then.

The market, now open seven days a week, is on the southeast corner of Barstow and Chestnut avenues. The fresh meat counter is staffed Thursdays through Saturdays.

Because of the hot weather, sales of student-produced ice cream made by Fresno State’s Dairy Processing Unit have been strong. Buying in advance will help ensure getting the flavor you prefer for an Independence Day celebration.

July is National Ice Cream Month, and Fresno State Farm Market patrons can choose from more than 65 flavors, including two new varieties — watermelon and orange — that won customer approval at the market’s Summer Solstice Celebration.

Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the University Agricultural Laboratory that supplies the Farm Market, said the excitement generated by the Solstice event on June 21 prompted the holiday opening.

He said the market experienced back-to-back record sales days. The Farm Market sold more than 40 12-bottle cases of Fresno State Winery’s just-released Solstice red wine within six hours of its debut. Since then 120 cases of the wine, which is designed to go with a variety of summer foods, have been sold

“The Solstice celebration was a huge success,” Srinivasan said. “Hundreds of shoppers seeking fresh produce, our new wine and Fresno State-brand products flocked to the store throughout the day.”

A big noontime crowd learned how to barbecue Fresno State Farm-fresh produce using university-produced extra-virgin olive oil and the Dairy Processing Unit provided a sneak preview of its ice cream sample days by offering two new favors.

The next day (June 22), the fresh meat counter opened, prompting large crowds throughout the weekend and since. The fresh meat counter features Fresno State’s high-quality, award-winning, USDA-graded pork, lamb and beef.

Proceeds from the sale of Fresno State products at the Farm Market benefit the university’s agricultural programs. The Summer Solstice Celebration provided a major financial shot in the arm, Srinivasan said

Next, the Farm Market and Dairy Processing Unit will hold a free ice cream sampling day on July11 as part National Ice Cream Month. The event will become a regular monthly event feature every second Tuesday. (Full press release to come next week).

Summer hours for the Farm Market are: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 559.278.4511.