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May 29, 2009

 

Sweet corn arrived June 1 at Gibson Farm Market

Fresno State student with sweet cornSummer heat is here and activity was heating up at the Gibson Farm Market with the arrival of arguably the university’s most popular student-produced agricultural product – sweet corn – at 8 a.m. Monday, June 1.

And while tradition is served with corn’s arrival in the on-campus market, a new variety is in the bins – an extra-tender yellow variety called Vision. In addition to the corn’s arrival, there will be lots of activity in upcoming days at the Gibson Farm Market, including:

  • The return June 12 of fresh student-produced meat at the Bulldog Chop Shop

  • The Fresno State Summer Harvest Festival on June 20

  • Bobby’s Corner, which offers informative, fun wine tastings by enology student Bobby Brower

  • Release of two new student-made products from the dairy - iced tea and iced coffee

  • Monthly ice cream tastings

  • Extended summer hours beginning June 1. They are 8 a.m-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Cooler-than-usual spring weather delayed the arrival of corn by a week, said Dr. Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the University Agricultural Laboratory, which consists of 25 enterprises including the Gibson Farm Market.

The new Vision sweet corn is “worth the wait,” Srinivasan said, because it’s “sweeter and has a better flavor. It is sure to be as popular with our customers as our other varieties are every year, if not more.”

And there’s more good news for corn fans. Srinivasan said, “We understand the tough economic conditions, so we decided to keep our corn prices at the same price as in past years, although labor and other costs have increased.”

Last year, the Farm Market sold more than 400,000 ears of corn and he anticipates 2009 sales will exceed a half-million ears. About 65 acres of white and yellow corn are planted every two weeks to provide a constant supply from late May through Labor Day, and sometimes longer.

Freshness is key to Fresno State corn’s popularity, Srinivasan said. “Each ear is selected for proper maturity and hand-harvested daily. Our corn travels less than a quarter-mile from the fields to the Gibson Farm Market, literally making it possible to go from plant to plate in a couple of hours.”

Srinivasan hopes Farm Market customers will pair corn with Fresno State-produced meat from the Bulldog Chop Shop, which was introduced last summer. It will offer beef, pork, and lamb starting June 12 and operating during market hours Friday and Saturday or until fresh meat is sold out.

Wine tastings resume at the new Bobby’s Corner. Enology student Brower will educate customers by showcasing two varietals each week in a free tasting 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Tastings will include varietal information, food pairings and special information to those new to Fresno State wine.

Fresh now at the Gibson Farm Market are cucumbers, green beans, squash, apricots, plums and peaches; organic beets, turnips, golden zucchini and colorful string beans. The market also sells nuts, fruit sauces, extra-virgin olive oil, Bulldog blend coffee and other student-developed prepared foods, plus campus-grown flowers and plants.

Free tastings of Fresno State Ice Cream are offered on the second Tuesday of each month. Other dairy products include milk, chocolate milk, cheese and flavored butter. The new iced tea and iced coffee are expected later in June. The iced coffee is made with Fresno State 2% milk.

The recently released Pinot Pork Sausage and Pinot Gris wine also are available.

Proceeds from the Gibson Farm Market and other Fresno State farm enterprises support the educational and research mission of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

For more information, call 559.278.4511 or visit www.fresnostatefarmmarket.com.