Virginia Home Grown: The Team

Peggy Singlemann
Peggy Singlemann
Host

Director of Park Operations &
Horticulture, Maymont

Back to Virginia Home Grown

Peggy has designed, planted and maintained historic and specialty gardens at the 100-acre estate for more than 30 years. The gardens at Maymont under her care include the formal Italian Garden, a four-acre Japanese Garden, Marie’s Butterfly Trail, Jack’s Vegetable Garden, The Robins Nature Center native plant landscape, numerous annual and perennial borders, and an award-winning arboretum that encompasses Maymont’s 100 acres. As Maymont’s Director of Park Operations and Horticulture, Singlemann is responsible for and oversees all phases of grounds operations, building maintenance, security, new building and habitat construction and all horticultural aspects of park operations.

Singlemann graduated from the State University of New York at Cobleskill with a degree in Horticulture, and she is a Certified Horticulturist through the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, a Certified Landscape Designer through the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, and a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. She earned her North American Certificate in Horticulture through the American Public Garden Association, of which she is a member.


Randy Battle
Randy Battle
Featured Gardener

Creator, Gardening with
SkinnyBoyRandy (YouTube)

 

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia  Zone 7, I love to garden and grow anything I can. I have been gardening in one way or another my entire life. Growing up spending the summers in NC on my Grandparent’s farms we always had our hands in the ground. I used to work the fields in the summer while school was out and when I came home I wondered why food was not free like on the farm.

Well, I decided to start growing seeds from things in the refrigerator and bag beans. In 2019, I decided to record myself planting tulips and the response was amazing! By request I continued to record tutorials and grew my Youtube channel to over 18,000 Subscribers and Facebook with almost 5,000 followers.

My garden journey has taken me across the country to California and landed me a spot in a national TV commercial for Youtube and allowed me to share with community and elementary schools gardening projects. Gardening is my passion and I love how calming it can be. I am thankful to do what I love and share with the world.


Amyrose Foll
Amyrose Foll
Featured Gardener

Executive Director,
Virginia Free Farm

 

Amyrose Foll is seeking to dismantle and transform the regional foodshed and create community-driven systems based on collectivism and respect for nature. Before becoming the Director of Future Harvest’s Beginner Farmer Training Program in 2021, Amyrose founded The Virginia Free Farm, which works to provide free nutrient dense food assistance to those in need and plants and seeds (free of charge) to community gardens, schools, and community-based organizations. It is a hub for educating young people in the Richmond metro area about indigenous agriculture and lifeways. Amyrose’s strong background in healthcare and her native heritage (Penobscot/Abenaki) is what prompted her to begin advocating for food sovereignty, security, and preservation of indigenous food culture through seed saving and distribution.

AmyRose is also a U.S. Army veteran, former fire fighter-paramedic, and nurse. She has a background in Biology & Healthcare, in addition to a Master’s in Health Information Management, and digital marketing. She holds certificates in viticulture & fruit tree production, poultry production, as well as woodlot management from Cornell University.


Serome Hamlin
Serome Hamlin
Featured Gardener

Owner, The Enchanted Garden

 

I have been in the “green industry” for over 20 years. Growing up in Amelia County, I found a passion for gardening from yearly planting projects with my mother. I also had a love for art. After spending some time in VCU’s art program for painting, I had the opportunity to work for a small landscaping company. This sparked my love of plants again and I needed to get my hands dirty in the soil.

Later, I got to work at a local wholesale nursery, Sandy’s Plants, where I spent about 12 years learning many plant varieties and habits. Currently I work for Styer Landscaping, where I do landscape designs and sales for the projects division. Also, I’m the owner of the Enchanted Garden, this project allows me to blend my love of plants and art, creating miniature landscape I call “Mini Worlds.” I make Mini Worlds to sell at different events in the Richmond area and also have had workshops or talks at local nurseries, wineries and gardening clubs on how to create a miniature landscape.

For the past 21 years, I have been working on my personal garden in the Northside of Richmond where I have a collection of dwarf conifers, Japanese maples and hostas (my first love in the plant world). I love spending time with my family, fur and winged babies (that would be the bees in the backyard hives) and anything gardening and art related. Guess I feel like I always have to keep my hands dirty.


Robyn Puffenbarger
Robyn Puffenbarger
Featured Gardener

Professor, Bridgewater College

 

Robyn Puffenbarger received her bachelors of science in biology from Virginia Tech and PhD in molecular immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. After a post-doctoral research fellowship at SUNY-Stony Brook, she joined the Biology and Environmental Science Department at Bridgewater College. She is now an associate professor and department chair.

In 2011, she completed the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener training and has been active in the Central Shenandoah Valley Unit ever since.


Jen Naylo
Jen Naylor
Digital Contributer

Farmer, Sussex Farm

 

Jen came to the U.S. in 1976 from South Korea where she grew up eating what’s in season, fresh and local. After college, a career, getting married and having children, it became her priority to give her family the food experience of her childhood. In a small yard, she used whatever space she could to grow her own produce. When she found that her youngest daughter was allergic to eggs, she decided to raise her own healthy, happy chickens to produce eggs for her family.  Incredibly, her daughter wasn’t allergic to those eggs!

Her dream was to own a farm where she could have more than a few chickens and to grow and raise food to feed her family the best of the best. Now, she and her husband (papa John) own a small farm in Esmont, Virginia. She has a few hundred chickens, quails, ducks, guineas and turkeys - free ranging, living harmoniously together. She also has fruit trees and  gardens where she produces vegetables to make value added items like Korean kimchi, which she calls Super Food. She started sharing her eggs at the local farmers market seven years ago and now shares many different varieties of her homemade kimchi, traditional Korean food, and much more.

She believes that eating what’s fresh, in season and local is the most healthy way to take care of your body and soul. Her goal is to spread the truth… "You are what you eat!!!"