Sustainability Semester Blog

A St. Lawrence University academic department blog

St. Lawrence University's Sustainability Semester is an off-campus living-learning program located 5 miles from the SLU campus where students create community together with the goals of living sustainably in a renovated farm house, growing and preserving their own food and building both theoretical and practical knowledge pertaining to sustainability. The students take four classes together on site, all focused on aspects of sustainability and travel to Boston for a 2 week urban sustainability component. They cook and share meals together, bake bread, do farm and house chores, engage in projects including wood working, maple sugaring, soap making, and other crafts, and work with community members involved in homesteading, farming, green building and more. This blog is written by the students participating in the Sustainability Semester and gives a snap shot of their reflections and experiences.


By Anna Hughes and Sam Haab Food storage is an aspect of sustainability that is often overlooked by the general public. However, here at the Sustainability Semester where local organic food is a key value, food storage is actually one of the most important parts of sustainable living. People often... read full story
By Sean Reville and Kim Haab “Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: Love. They must do it for love. Farmers farm for the love of farming.”~Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings... read full story
By Lanika Sanders As I unclipped my helmet and rolled my bike up to Sweetcore Farm’s little barn, I had no idea what to expect. Not only had I never worked on a small-scale, family-owned farm before, I had never worked on a farm, period. Luckily, David and Kathy Rice, Sweetcore's owners, were just... read full story
Myles TrainerNature is Clean. Or is it? It is five minutes until 11 o’clock; the sun has nearly reached its climax squeezing all of the existent moisture from the concrete. Clients won’t arrive at Casa b for another 3 hours. Palms sweaty, I believe I have enough time. My bag is exploding with... read full story
Ben Swimm, Homesteader-in-Residence If you have passed by our farm in the past few weeks, you may have noticed a new addition to the landscape. I notice it from the top of the hill that overlooks the farm from Route 68, and it is just as easily spotted from the end of the driveway. Maybe it’s just... read full story
Caeleigh WarburtonSustainability Semester Internship BlogSeptember 1, 2014 What I have come to value most about my education at St. Lawrence is the diversity of perspectives that I have had the fortune to experience.  As a student with a strong focus on environmental themes, I have had the... read full story
By: Jamie Oriol As the Sustainability Semester came to an end and students parted, all heading off to their exciting summer internships, I found myself settling in for a summer in the North Country.  Staying at the Sustainability House, I prepared myself for a summer of both research,... read full story
Someone once told me, speaking about Boston, that “A city is just an artificial dwelling system for the animal called Homo Sapiens.” This summer, I worked at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy in Boston. I lived in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood just outside of Boston. And I saw much more than an... read full story
By Heron Hetzler What lives in your backyard?  The answer to this question was at the heart of my internship this past summer.  I worked for Nature Up North (NUN), an environmental education organization based out of St. Lawrence University.  Their goal is to bring an awareness and... read full story
Lizzy Gendell and David Smith May 27, 2014 This is one of many questions that we are asked on a weekly basis as we communicate with people on campus, friends at other universities, and family at home.  Perhaps our families have a little more insight as to what this semester has been like for... read full story
  Summer time is ramping up! Our Sustainability Semester saw evidence of this after meeting with several small businesses in the North Country. As days get longer with prolific sunshine, businesses like the Bennett’s Bittersweet Farm and Scott Shipley’s Northern Lights Energy have the ability... read full story
By Margaret MacDonald and Lanika Sanders Our time spent in Boston necessarily brought to light observations of nature represented in an urban setting. Through a tour of The Fens Back Bay Park, morning jaunts across Boston Commons, and a whale watch, the dichotomy between city and rural living... read full story