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Virginia Home Grown

New Episode: Explore the benefits of building good soil. Tuesday, May 28th at 8pm, live on VPM and streaming on Facebook!

Learn about work to adapt our landscapes to the new normal created by climate change

Discover how marshes buffer against sea level rise. Explore challenges and opportunities facing public gardens due to warmer growing zones. (Season 24, Episode 2)

Stream more Virginia Home Grown | Get the PBS App and watch anywhere, anytime!


About Virginia Home Grown

Dig in to a world of growing and gardening - with experts and plant enthusiasts from across Virginia. Experience how-to demos and video-visits to gardens, farms, and growing sites. Watch live and join the conversation via email at [email protected] or on Facebook.

Virginia Home Grown is hosted by Peggy Singlemann, Principal, RVA Gardener. Regular contributors also include Randy Battle, Amyrose Foll, Serome Hamlin, Jen Naylor, Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger, and Shana Williams.

Our mission is to enrich growers and gardeners of all levels by connecting to new voices and fresh ideas, to highlight the unique richness of gardens and natural ecosystems throughout Virginia, and serve as a resource for our community.

Gardening is for everyone. We are all growing and learning together.

Knowledge Base

Select a topic from the playlist and get answers to some of the frequently asked gardening questions.

READ MORE STORIES

Virginia Home Grown is made possible, in part, by:

Lead Sponsor: The Mary Roper Davis and Robert Poore Roper Memorial Fund
Supporting Friends: Ms Deb Nelson and Dr Ed Lesnefsky, Margaret E. Vaden, and Ken Venos

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Meet the Team

Peggy Singlemann
Randy Battle
Amyrose Foll
Serome Hamlin
Jen Naylor
Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger
Shana Williams
Peggy Singlemann

Peggy Singlemann | Host, Co-Producer
Principal, RVA Gardener

A longtime force in the fields of gardening and landscaping, Peggy is best known for her passion for helping and inspiring others to garden well and sustainably and to honor the landscape. She has fulfilled this mission in numerous ways. Her knowledgeable writings appear in national gardening publications; and through her horticultural business, RVA Gardener, she teaches, coaches, and speaks at many conferences in Virginia and nationwide. She serves on several boards, including the Southern Garden History Society and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Peggy is prominent for her transformative role restoring, renovating, and overseeing the gardens and grounds of Maymont, the 100-acre historic estate and park in Richmond. Upon her retirement as Director of Park Operations and Horticulture, the Virginia General Assembly presented Peggy with a commendation honoring her contributions to Maymont over 38 years.

Peggy is a Certified Horticulturist through the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, a Certified Landscape Designer (Virginia Society of Landscape Designers), a Certified Arborist (International Society of Arboriculture), and a licensed Pesticide Applicator (Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services). Peggy graduated from the State University of New York at Cobleskill with a degree in Horticulture.

Randy Battle | Co-host

Randy Battle | Co-Host
Creator, Gardening with SkinnyBoyRandy

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 | Co-Host

Amyrose Foll | Co-Host
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. Amyrose is the Executive Director of 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. She has authored several books on agroforestry in the Ancestral Gardens: Millennia of Agricultural Genius series including Berries, Trees, and Shrubs.

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 | Co-Host

Serome Hamlin | Co-Host
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.

Jen Naylor | Co-Host

Jen Naylor | Co-Host
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!!!"

Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger | Co-Host

Dr. Robyn Puffenbarger | Co-Host
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.

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

Shana Williams | Co-Host

Shana Williams | Co-Host
Founder & Manager, Garden Learning Center, Williams City Farms

Growing up in South Jersey, I developed a love for gardening from helping my family in our backyard garden, going to my aunt’s farm to pull weeds, playing among the fruit trees beside my grandmother's house, and watching my aunt work in her garden. I have always enjoyed the peacefulness of gardening and seeing and tasting the fruits of my labor.

As a professional track athlete, I traveled the world enjoying the culinary arts that the many countries had to offer therefore encouraging the “foodie” in me.

Later, I moved to Richmond, Va and began teaching health and physical and technology integration as well as bringing my farm mentality into my backyard. After sharing tons of plums, veggies and plants from my backyard garden to my neighbors and fellow teachers, my desire for a small farm was calling me.

In 2018, I purchased some land in the city and created an educational farm to teach everyone how to grow their own food. Sharing my gardening passion with my community, helping them jump start their gardens, and giving to others all came naturally to me. Hence, the Williams City Farms grow out of that passion. The Williams City Farms is a non-profit organization which believes that one of the best ways to learn is to “Learn by Doing” as we educate and inspire you to grow your own food.

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