Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Hard Bargain Farm Has Champions of Another Sort

August 21st, 2012

By Karen Jensen Miles, Land Use/ Facilities Manager

Thanks to the efforts of Sam Lyon, Hard Bargain Farm has two Maryland State Champion trees on its grounds. Sam’s father was the MD State Forester for many years, and Sam was steeped in all things relating to his dad’s profession. So, when he saw several really large tree and shrub specimens here at the farm, he sent in the pertinent information to MD Department of Natural Resources Forest Service’s Big Tree Program.

In September, four representatives from the Big Tree Measurement Team came to the farm to officially measure them. The Team declared two tree specimens to be state winners – a pawpaw and an American hornbeam.

Official measurements:

American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana
Circumference: 4 feet, 2 inches
Height: 48 feet
Average Crown Width: 38 feet
Total Points: 108.0 points

Common Pawpaw, Asimina triloba
Circumference: 2 feet, 7 inches
Height: 48 feet
Average Crown Width: 22 feet
Total Points: 85.0 points

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service has been collecting data on the largest trees of each species growing in our state since 1925. The Big Tree Program recognizes these trees with the goal to honor tree owners as good stewards of trees and to educate citizens about the importance of trees in our lives.

The champion for each species is determined by the value of the total points. If a tree is designated a champion, it will be automatically considered for nomination in to the National Register of Big Trees, a program of the conservation organization American Forests.

AFF’s New Website Shines Spotlight on Mission and Programs

July 17th, 2012

By Lori Arguelles, Executive Director

Welcome to AFF’s newly revitalized website! We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the site, which has been designed to be more user-friendly, interactive and informative. Enjoy reading our blog posts, keeping track of news and events at the Foundation, and staying connected with our work. As you explore the site, we hope you will take advantage some of the new features that will allow you to stay connected with our work. For example, you can use the RSS feed to subscribe to our weekly blog posts and keep track of news and events.

In our continued efforts to gear our site towards you, the user, we value your feedback about your experience. Please take a minute to fill out this short survey. If you only want to leave a comment, scroll down to the last question and write your comment there.

Thank you for being a supporter and friend of AFF and we hope that you enjoy our new site as much as we do!

Cultural Heritage: A Legacy Worth Preserving

July 13th, 2012

By Betsy Reid, Cultural Heritage Committee, Chair

The Alice Ferguson Foundation has a long and rich history and we have recently undertaken efforts to better preserve the legacy of Alice and Henry Ferguson by focusing on creating a Cultural Heritage Initiative that encompasses the preservation of historical buildings and landscapes, conservation of the Ferguson collections (historical photographs, works of art, books, archival material) and the development of programs that interpret and share our heritage with the public.

One of our goals is to increase visitation and strengthen our connections with professionals in the preservation and gardening communities as we feature our creative and rich cultural heritage, through house and garden tours, theater and concerts, and lectures. Alice Ferguson’s legacy is much broader than Hard Bargain Farm, as evidenced by her restoration of Chimney House, a historic property in Port Tobacco. Linda Simmons, Curator emerita of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Cultural Heritage Advisor to AFF, was recently invited by the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco to give a lecture titled “Who Was Alice Ferguson?” at the Port Tobacco Courthouse in June. You can read a nice write-up about the lecture in the Southern Maryland News. After the lecture Kay Volman invited the guests to tour the Chimney House.

Fergie’s Gardeners sponsored programs that attracted many visitors to the Foundation. Several evening lectures included popular conversation on diverse topics ranging from mushroom hunting, to how to improve your garden soils, to local women artists and their studios. We also hosted house and garden tours for garden clubs and parents of home school students that proved informative and entertaining for our guests and lucrative for our garden club. Another fundraising effort was undertaken by producing note cards from historical photographs in the Ferguson archives and we welcomed generous donations to the “Pay Dirt Fund.” These funds allow us to hire needed help for maintaining the historical formal gardens.

Alice’s Scribes, a newly formed group, is enthusiastically transcribing letters and journals from the Ferguson archives to unlock stories, events, and relationships that marked their life and adventures at Hard Bargain Farm. Please contact Doris Sharp at [email protected] if you would like to be trained to participate in this effort.

The Cultural Heritage Committee and Fergie’s Gardeners wish to express their thanks to the dedicated volunteers and donors who work with staff at the Foundation to advance the goals of this program.