Osgood Pond SemesterPAUL SMITH'S COLLEGE
OSGOOD POND SEMESTER
Welcome! The Osgood Pond Semester is a living-learning community at Paul Smith’s College that believes in simple and holistic living. The idea began in 2014, when a group of students voiced that they wanted to live a less cluttered and materialist life while at PSC. Thus, the Osgood Pond Semester was born.
At Osgood, we believe in simplicity. We believe in working with and being mindful stewards of the earth. During the semester, students live in Lambert House, have the opportunity to camp in a Mongolian yurt, design personal projects to enhance our community, practice primitive skills, and tend Osgood Farm. Our mission is to build a sustainable community through hard work and our most renewable source of energy—ourselves.
Meet the Osgood Pond Semester students:
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y. (more specifically Angola)
What does it mean to you to be an Osgood student? As a product of an an environmentally conscious family, I have always been well aware of the anthropogenic effects on the environment. From a young age I dreamt of a simple life, away from the burdensome implications of modern society. Since then, I have been making baby steps towards a sustainable future. Starting with working on reducing my carbon footprint, I worked towards more comprehensive goals. From the first spoken words of a potential homesteading/primitive skills oriented experiential class, I knew it was something I needed to be apart of. The class seemed as if it would be a good stepping stone towards my end goal of living a under unconventional and sustainable circumstances. Also, I knew the program was a good fit as I had been honing in on my primitive self for quite some time before college. My experience in agriculture and working with limited resources seemed like it would fit well within this niche experiential learning opportunity. One goal, of many, is to leave this experience with a more defined values and skills to help take move my closer to accomplishing my goals.
Fun Fact: I traveled to Ireland on a 3 week escapade to visit my oldest brother Shawn. Shawn was enrolled in a Ecology PhD program at Trinity College in Dublin at the time (County capital ~ Home of the Guinness factory In my travels, I drove coast to coast with a new diverse experience at each destination. I traveled the rolling hills and agricultural district of the North, to the cliffs of Moore to the east, fished historic trout streams in the south, and toured medieval castles to the west.
The Earth has music for those who listen.
Major: Parks and Conservation Management
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
What does it mean to you to be an Osgood student? Being a student at Osgood this semester is about being self-reliant and sustainable, about learning and teaching, but most of all about friendships and community.
Fun Fact: I got to dance with the Queen at the Renaissance Faire this year.
None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.
Major: Wildlife Management
Hometown: Attica, N.Y.
What does it mean to me to be an Osgood student? It means that I want to learn how to live off the land and not rely on modern technologies.
Fun Fact: My favorite animal is a Siberian Tiger
To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.
Justin Richard Gillen
Major: Natural Resources Conversation Management
Hometown: Amsterdam, N.Y.
What does it mean to you to be an Osgood student? It feels good to be part of a opportunity that only a select few of students have the chance to participate in. This class is not just about learning primitive techniques and skills, but it is about learning about myself and what I can do.
Fun Fact: I am a proud member of the Medical Emergency Response Team on Campus
A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what ships are built for.
Major/Position: Instructor of Environmental Studies and Osgood Pond Educational Site Manager
Home: Paul Smiths, N.Y.
Interests: Mountains, rivers and roads, writing, crafting floral arrangements, and primitive skills
Fun Fact: I’m a 46er and ultra hiker
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
If you garden, you know that one of the most important components to a flourishing garden is healthy soil. At Osgood, we are planning ahead for next year's garden already! This means, looking at our soil and planning ahead of time, how much nutrients we will need to...>>
Osgood Farm is a short walk from the Paul Smith’s College VIC on the the Jackrabbit Trail. To learn more or schedule a tour, contact site manager Bethany Garretson using the form below.
GET IN TOUCH:
To Osgood Farm, a living, breathing classroom at Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks. Set on the shores of Osgood Pond, the site was formerly a homestead in the late 1800s. Today, Osgood Farm provides a hands on learning experience for students and community members. On the farm we believe in the power of the sun, the horses and ourselves.
Osgood Pond is a unique location here in the Adirondack Park. This 500-acre parcel is settled in the town of Brighton right near our small college here in Paul Smiths, New York. Back in the early 1850s, James Wardner, his brother, and friend camped all winter long around what we now know as Osgood Pond. These three men were incredibly successful when it came to their hunting and trapping skills. Wardner, in fact, made so much money that winter, that he was able to buy land for a new farm site on Rainbow Lake around 1855. But before leaving, after the three had lived on site, they decided to give the body of water that sustained them the official name of Osgood Pond. Arthur Osgood was the first person to attempt farming that region, and so, the three gentlemen thought it would be appropriate to name the pond after him. And so it stuck!
Since the naming, Osgood Pond has seen lots of foot traffic. During the late 1800s, people who were diagnosed with tuberculosis would travel to Osgood Pond in search of returning to good health. When the tuberculosis scare calmed, the site was repurposed into a golf course that was utilized by Paul Smith’s Hotel. In the 1930’s, the site was later used to house Boy Scout troops for summer long camp events. And since then, Paul Smith’s College has been using the site for their forestry practices, sustainability studies, and as a new experiential farming site!
Today, our climate is shifting, food security concerns have been brought to the table, and how people can adapt to these changes, remains the constant question we ask here at Paul Smith’s College. At Osgood Farm we are throwing around ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, and discovery. What can we do here on a small farm to make a big difference? Our philosophy is to hopefully to connect, educate, and inspire people to pursue their own interests in small-farm networking. We aim to protect natural resources and to be valued by our community. Impassioning those to care for the soil, water, and air are all goals we strive for here at Osgood Farm. By creating an example of a sustainable agricultural system through the utilization our draft horse team, human power, and solar energy, we hope to engage students and the public interest in backyard gardening. Ultimately, Osgood Farm strives to set the example of how we all can be committed to a higher quality of life through the soil we work.
The Draft Horse Program was founded by Gould Hoyt and since then it has been a unique niche in the campus culture and atmosphere. Currently we have two horses, Lady and Fee, a mother/daughter team of French Canadian draft horses. They are renowned for their hardiness also nicknamed the little iron horse. Students are able to take the draft horse class and learn to drive and care for horses.
The horses are currently used for wagon and sleigh rides in the winter months, farm work at Osgood Farm, as well as draft-powered logging demonstrations. Lady and Fee can be found on campus with Sara and Emily driving, working in the woods, and grazing the pastures at the horse barn located a mile down Keese Mill Road.
The sun helps protect our vegetables by powering a solar charged electric fence. Also, our photo-voltaic solar array – a wagon equipped with panels and batteries – helps power equipment for tasks such as barn renovation. The solar oven has made for hot and tasty meals, and let us not forget the sun’s most important role: sustaining our crops!
Community & Visits
Osgood Farm is located on Route 30 in Paul Smiths, N.Y., just .6 miles north of the Paul Smith’s College entrance at the junction of Routes 30 and 86. There is a gravel road with a gate on the right hand side of the road (or if travelling from the north, on the left shortly after the entrance to the Paul Smith’s College VIC).
The northern end of the Jackrabbit Trail also travels through Osgood Farm, making it easily accessible by foot from the VIC or Church Pond area.