Hard Bargain News: Newsletter of the Alice Ferguson Foundation
Vol. XXXIII, No. 4                                                                                                     August 2013
In This Issue
Registration for Home School Adventures at Hard Bargain Farm
Ice Cream Social for our Members and Volunteers
Oktoberfest is Taking a Rest.
The Performing Arts at Hard Bargain Farm
Call for Potomac Champion Award Nominees
Getting To Know Alice - The Search Continues
Quick Links

As school bells begin to ring again, we eagerly await the arrival of students who benefit from their opportunity to participate in the Alice Ferguson Foundation's education programs.  At our Hard Bargain Farm Education Center the majesty and wonder of our woodlands, wetlands, waterways and farm always inspire awe and excitement.  And we look forward to welcoming even more home schooled students to experience our program!  National and State Parks in the region serve as the classroom for our Bridging the Watershed Programs and are no less awe-inspiring for the secondary school students who enjoy them.


But don't let the season end without one last taste of summer: our annual Ice Cream Social is not to be missed this Friday night and we hope to see you there! Don't miss the last two offerings of the season from our Hard Bargain Players as they take to the stage at our amphitheater, which will also  feature the inimitable Lynn Hollyfield in concert.


Lori Arguelles 
Executive Director 
Alice Ferguson Foundation

Registration for Home School Adventures at Hard Bargain Farm


Looking for outdoors and hands-on educational programs for children 5-12 years of age? Register for our Home School programs and have your child experience the wonders of Hard Bargain Farm this school year.


Classes are held on various weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Our programs cover an array of exciting hands-on activities and lessons on topics such as:

  • Hunter-Gatherers
  • Fish Dissection
  • Exploring the Wetlands
  • Taking Flight: Experiencing Birds
  • Garden to Farm and Back Again
  • Farm Traditions

Please share this great educational opportunity with any families that may be interested.


For more information please call 301-292-5665 or visit our website.

 Ice Cream Social for our Members and Volunteers

Please join us this Friday, August 23, 2013 for an Ice Cream Social celebrating the people who help make our programs possible!  


What: Annual Ice Cream Social celebrating AFF members and volunteers

Where: The Farm House (2001 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, MD 20607)

When: August 23, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Please RSVP by August 22 if you wish to attend by calling 301-292-5665 or emailing [email protected]


Not a member yet?  Become a member today and help support AFF's programs.

Oktoberfest is Taking a Rest 
Oktoberfest Dancers Last year we hosted the 32nd annual Oktoberfest! Thank you to everyone who has made it such a success for so many years. Due to the exciting construction going on this fall, Oktoberfest will be on hiatus. Stay tuned for other fun fall events at the farm! 

The Performing Arts at Hard Bargain Farm 


The Theater in the Woods with the Hard Bargain Players and the Concert in the Woods series have been well under way.  The Players staged two plays so far, the comedy 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche by Evan Linder and Andreas Hobgood, directed by Derek Pickens; and critically acclaimed Blackbird by David Harrower, directed by Juliette Kelsey Chagnon.  Upcoming plays are Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldiers Play by Charles Fuller, directed by David Thomas; and Evil Dead: the Musical by George Reinblatt, directed by Michael Margelos.


Mark Your Calendar:

August 23-Sept. 7      A Soldier's Play-Hard Bargain Players

Fri. and Sat., 8 PM


Sept. 14, 8 PM           Lynn Hollyfield & Friends-Concert in the Woods


Oct. 4-19                    Evil Dead: the Musical-Hard Bargain Players

Fri. and Sat., 8 PM


For more information check our website. We hope to see you there and enjoy the lively arts under the stars at Hard Bargain Farm.

Call for Potomac Champion Award Nominees 



Do you know someone in your community who deserves recognition for their efforts to reduce litter in your area? Nominate them for a Potomac Champion Award!


2012 Potomac Watershed Trash Summit

Each year at the Annual Potomac Watershed Trash Summit we celebrate those leaders, organizations, and residents who make that extra effort to help reach the goal of a Trash Free Potomac. This year we would like to hear from you-our partners-who you think deserves to be a Potomac Champion. We are accepting nominations in four categories:

  • Leader
  • Watershed Organization
  • Business/Facility
  • School

Please tell us in 200-400 words why your nominee deserves this honor. Include any quantifiable details such as amount of trash removed from the watershed, number of cleanups, pounds of waste diverted from landfill, new policies, or number of volunteers engaged.


Please submit nominations to Alena Rosen at [email protected] by September 16th, 2013. Be sure to include your own contact information for follow up questions  

Getting To Know Alice - The Search Continues 

By Linda Crocker Simmons

Alice L.L. Ferguson (1880-1951) Ca. 1930s -1940s By Helen Sewell Rennie (1906-1989) Pen and Ink on Flesh -colored Paper Recto, pencil, l.r.:Alice L.L. Ferguson"  Promised gift of Linda Crocker Simmons with the assistance of Rob Delamater of the LostArt Salon, San Francisco, California.

It has been more than a year since a significant discovery relating to Alice L.L. Ferguson and her life as an artist has been made, but last month the drawing illustrated here, was found. Discovered during a recent Internet search it has been acquired from the California dealer who was selling it in a group of drawings labeled "New Deal".  All the drawings in that folder were created by Helen Sewell Rennie (1906-1989) sometime during the 1930s or 1040s. Not much has been yet learned about Rennie except that she like Alice had a career in the arts and was active during the 1930s and later in the Washington region.


Rennie was a native of Maryland and had, as Alice had done, studied art at the Corcoran School of Art (today the Corcoran College of Art and Design). It is conceivable they met there or at one of the regional arts groups to which both belonged. Very likely they had professional art connections or friendships with one or more other artists associated with the various Federal arts projects taking place in the Washington metropolitan region during the 1930s. An immediate candidate is Lenore Thomas (1909-1988), a tenant of Longview, the close by property which Alice had developed in hopes of selling.  But once occupied by Lenore and her fellows Alice found the arrangement too enjoyable to want it to end. Like Hard Bargain Farm the tenants at Longview had their "Gang" of guests whom Alice described in her book, Adventures in Southern Maryland (p.31) as compared to Hard Bargain Farm's as "more artistic and more sure they are intellectual."


Learn more about Rennie and what her drawings tell us about Alice on our blog

Oktoberfest is Taking a Rest 
Oktoberfest Dancers Last year we hosted the 32nd annual Oktoberfest! Thank you to everyone who has made it such a success for so many years. Due to the exciting construction going on this fall, Oktoberfest will be on hiatus. Stay tuned for other fun fall events at the Farm! 
Alice Ferguson Foundation
The Alice Ferguson Foundation's mission is to connect people to the natural world, sustainable agricultural practices and the cultural heritage of their local watershed through education, stewardship and advocacy.