Expanding Local Farm Fresh Produce Available on Campus

PSC Center for Sustainability Partners with Campus Bookstore on Local Food Access.

By Ariah Mitchell, Casella Climate Resilience Fellow

On campus at PSC, there are few options to purchase farm fresh or local grocery products. The Packbasket Bookstore has acted as a sort of convenience store on campus for quite some time, selling prepackaged snacks and drinks. Since our campus is 12 miles from town and about 6 miles from the closest market (Brighton Mini-Mart) and not all students have cars, access to fresh and affordable food can be an issue. According to a survey designed by Kevin McCarthy’s Fall 2022 class, students, faculty, and staff would like to be able to purchase organic, local food in the Packbasket. Mary Haskell, our new Bookstore Manager, is planning on a rebrand to do a better job of meeting the needs of the community both on-campus and off. The Bookstore will be partnering with the Center for Sustainability to make these goals a reality. 

The A.P. Smith’s Bakery started offering local grocery items on campus last year, a switch which has been wildly successful. However, their hours are limited, which is where the bookstore comes in. Mary Haskell envisions a type of local food market on campus. “We want to support the farmers, local economy and the community, rather than importing food from across the country,” she says, describing her vision of the Packbasket rebrand as a general store. “I visit the farmer’s market every week, scouting for fresh, organic food that’s in season.” This fresh food will include local grains, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, beef, and other staples.

As of two weeks ago, the Bookstore is offering apples, carrots, eggs, potatoes, radishes, microgreens, and local meat such as sausage and beef. The produce is from Juniper Hills Farm, and the meat is from Harmony Hills Farm, just 15 miles down the road. The potatoes are Tuckers Taters, sourced just 3 miles from the college. With the new discounts for Paul Smith’s students and employees, these healthier and more sustainable options will be more accessible than ever. The hope is that students will enjoy their 10% discount on the local foods in the bookstore. Staff and faculty get a 5% discount. We’re looking forward to this sustainable change on campus, and hope you are, too. 

The Center for Sustainability will be helping in this shift and ensuring the program is available for all by helping to identify local food vendors/farmers and partnering on a Sustainability Grant application. The proposed grant project is being written by Sustainability Coordinator Kate Glenn, Bookstore Manager Mary Haskell, and PSC student Josh Vetter. This will support the bookstore’s switch to a new POS system that will support SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), as well as funding a new refrigerator to store these delicious food items.  Vote for this over 500 grant next week (March 13 to the 17th) during the campus-wide vote! 

Paul Smith’s College Partners with Clarkson University in Regional Food Waste Audit Project

By Ariah Mitchell, Casella Climate Resilience Fellow

Paul Smith’s College Center for Sustainability has been awarded a $7,500 grant as part of a regional food waste audit research project with Clarkson University, backed by NYS Pollution Prevention Institute. The goal of this project is to develop a qualitative and quantitative understanding of food waste in facilities of higher education within our region. Under the direction of Sustainability Coordinator and Instructor Katharine Glenn, we will be hiring a team of student interns to complete a comprehensive audit of food waste on campus. With assistance from Clarkson University and Compost for Good, our Food Waste Audit Interns will collect and track data regarding our current composting efforts and our goals for the future, and engage our campus community with awareness of food waste management practices. 

As an institution, Paul Smith’s already composts 100% of its food waste with Blue Line Compost in Saranac Lake. Our success in managing pre and post-consumer food waste within our dining facilities and culinary department, as well as our dedication to working with local businesses, can provide an excellent model for institutions across the state who have the goal of becoming more mindful about food waste and supporting sustainable community resources. Not only will the data collected though this study help us to develop a more complete understanding of campus food waste management and help provide an example for other higher education facilities, but it will provide an excellent opportunity for paid student participation and learning in the ever important and growing field of sustainable food waste management. Interested in joining the team as a Food Waste Audit Intern? Please apply by sending a copy of your resume and cover letter to sustainability@paulsmiths.edu and stop by Student Center 101. We’d love to chat with you and answer any questions. 

Follow link for copy of Food Waste Audit Internship Position

Compost Buckets at the Bookstore!

Are you living on campus and would like to compost your food waste??
Blue line Compost Buckets are now available at the Packbasket bookstore.
Buckets are $8.50 each, discount of 25% off for Paul Smith’s College students, curtesy of the Center for Sustainability!
  1. Buy a bucket,
  2. fill it with your food waste compost,
  3. and return it to the bookstore when it’s full,
  4. grab an empty bucket, and repeat! 
In addition to the Packbasket full compost buckets can be dropped at the following locations,

Center for Sustainability Spring Programs & Events


  • Feb 17th via Zoom Electric Vehicle Panel Discussion at 6pm

  • 2022 FOOD JUSTICE SUMMIT: FEEDBACK: MEETING IN THE MIDDLE, FEBRUARY 23 & FEBRUARY 24, Sponsored by the PSC Center for Sustainability. Contact sustainability@paulsmiths.edu if you’d like to attend this 2 day virtual summit. The 2022 Food Justice Summit, hosted by AHI in collaboration with Adirondack Food System Network.






  • March 21-25 Sustainability Grant Vote



   Keynote Address: Robin Wall Kimmerer: The Honorable Harvest


  • Trade- A-Palooza April 29th through May 7th

Fall 2021 Center for Sustainability Programs

Monday, September 6th – Club Fair

Find the Smitty Sustainability Committee table while you’re checking out other club tables on the Great Lawn!

Saturday, September 11th – Blue Line Compost Tour Field Trip

10 am van pickup at the post office. Awesome tour and valuable learning experience! Visit the sign-up sheet outside Kate Glenn’s office (Student Center 101) if interested in joining. For more info, visit https://bluelinecompost.com/

September 25th – Cider Pressing! 

10 am-2 pm – Outside the Student Center. We’ll be using an old fashioned double barreled cider press to make fresh press apple cider. Hot cider will be sold in wide-mouth glass pint jars for the suggested donation of 3$ a jar. Come check out the bike powered apple masher we borrow from Ravenwood Homestead.

October 5th – Northern Power and Light speaker Emmett Smith

Paul Smith’s College is powered 100% by Local Small Scale Hydroelectricity from Northern Power and Light, CEO of Northern Power and Light, Emmett Smith will speak on campus about local hydro in the Adirondacks and how you can support local renewable energy in the North Country. Pine Room @ 6:30pm. More information: https://www.npandl.com/

October 9th – Azure Mountain Hydroelectric Tour

Tour this beautiful old hydroelectric plant in St. Regis Falls, which helps power Paul Smith’s College. Plant Operator Everette Smith will show us around this facility built in the 90’s using 100 year old equipment on a dam on the st regis river. 1 pm van pickup at the post office -Sign up at the Center for Sustainability, Student Center 101

November 2nd- Zoom Panel on Electric Vehicles

Are you thinking of purchasing an Electric Vehicle? Hear from a panel of PSC employees who’ve all made the transition to electric. Speakers include Nicholas Hunt-Bull, Dan Kelting, Scott Van-Lear, and Andrew Kelly. There is more than one way to drive electric, our panel reflects that. You’ll hear from people driving 100% electric vehicles, as well as plug in hybrid EV.  Program is held in Freer Auditorium and Zoom, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Meet Our Staff!

Sustainability Coordinator, Faculty, Department of Environment and Society

I am often asked what a Sustainability Coordinator does, the primary focus of my position is to help make our campus and community more resilient, by mitigating and adapting to the affects of climate change. I focus mostly on reducing the college’s greenhouse gas emissions levels, I champion and oversee renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on campus. I also coordinate our STARS (Sustainable Tracking and Rating System) strategic plan and reporting. This includes various initiatives regarding sustainable dining, waste minimization, and other initiatives related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I’ve been teaching for about 7 years. I teach about four classes a year, primarily upper division classes in our Sustainability BS program. check out my faculty page to learn more about myself the classes I teach. I also direct the Center for Sustainability, this semester we have a staff of about 4 student employees and Sustainability Fellows working on various campus initiatives and programs.

Looking to get involved? Have an idea? Have questions? Reach out, I’d love to hear from you. Stop by the Center for Sustainability (Student Center 101) or e-mail me at kglenn@paulsmiths.edu. Check us out on social media @pscsustainability (Instagram) Paul Smith’s College Center for Sustainability (Facebook).

Center for Sustainability Staff

Name: Sean Jackson ,

Title: Sustainability Fellow: Transportation

E-mail: sjackson@paulsmiths.edu,

Major: Sustainability BS



Name: Nicole Distasio ,

Title: Sustainability Fellow: Sustainable Dining

E-mail: ndistasio@paulsmith.edu

Major: Sustainability BS, Minor: Entrepreneurial Business