The Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market (5368 N. Chestnut Ave.) is creating new measures to encourage customer safety when Fresno State’s renowned campus-grown sweet corn goes on sale at 8 a.m. Monday, May 25.
Following government health standards related to the COVID-19 pandemic, sweet corn will initially be sold both inside and outside the store to encourage social distancing practices.
“We’re excited to have our sweet corn available to the public again this year,” said Jeremy Lewis, Gibson Farm Market manager. “We understand that this year will be a little different with wait times, sanitation practices and customer requirements compared to past years. We ask that everyone be patient with our new processes, and be confident that we are following all required social distancing guidelines.”
A new outside mobile purchase station, on the north side of the store, will accommodate shoppers who want to only purchase corn. Pre-bagged corn in quantities of 10 ears will be available outside for $7 to accommodate crowds while supplies last.
Shoppers who want to purchase the market’s wide variety of Fresno State student-made products will be allowed inside in smaller increments, and corn will be sold inside, too.
Other new measures include:
- Only one customer will be allowed to shop per bin at a time.
- Customers are asked to wear face masks while shopping, indoors or outside, per government guidelines.
- Customers are required to use sanitizer stations before they can pick corn out of bins at either location, and are asked not to shuck or peel back the corn, or put corn back in bins.
- Shoppers who want to purchase the market’s wide variety of Fresno State student-made products will be allowed inside in smaller increments in relation to government ordinances. Corn will be sold inside, too.
- The store requests that only one member per family shop at a time to help shorten wait times.
- Organized waiting lines for shopping will be staged outside the store in wrap-around fashion as in the past, but with more predetermined spacing to facilitate social distancing and customer safety.
- Student workers continue to sanitize the store every two hours and wear face masks. Plexiglas sneeze guards have also been installed at each cash register.
To encourage customers to stagger their shopping, the market will begin to operate a seven-day summer schedule starting Monday, May 25, and will be open each day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the Fourth of July holiday.
Yellow corn will be available opening day, and white corn will be available in early June.
A similar supply of corn is expected throughout the summer compared to past years. Approximately 70 acres of the 1,000-acre University Agricultural Laboratory are devoted to its most popular product grown by student workers and staff.
To encourage the freshest products possible, corn is picked and delivered every morning. The market thanks its customers who understand that supplies can vary at times due to changes in weather and labor availability.
Customers can also enjoy a mix of campus produce that currently includes cherries, grapefruit, peaches, squash, strawberries and zucchini. Apricots, peppers, plums, nectarines and tomatoes will likely arrive in early June, and other commodities like table grapes will follow in July.
The campus creamery will also sell half gallons of whole milk, and will also have whole chocolate milk available later in the summer.
The market has a May special honoring National Wine Month with nine Fresno State Winery favorites that will be 20% off. Wines on sale through May 31 include Albariño, California Syrah, Chardonnay, Malbec, Muscat Canelli, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Syrah Rosé, and Toca Zinfandel.
Popular meat products at the market include over 30 varieties of sausages, dried artisan-style salami and snack products, as well as popular meat cuts. A wide variety of sauces and jellies are produced at the campus food processing lab, as well as nut, candy and snack products.
Plants and seedlings are available from the campus horticulture nursery and include flowers, and house and landscape plants that do well in the area climate and encourage water-wise principles.