Following her retirement from 35-year career in horse training, Jamie Renzi and her husband, Augusto, enrolled in a certificate program at Surry Community College that changed the trajectory of their blissful retirement.
The certificate program that Renzi and her husband enrolled in and graduated from is a horticulture program.
Following graduation, Renzi questioned what purpose the old greenhouse served that sat beside The Pilot Center, and was eventually offered an outlet for her newly acquired skills by setting up a freshly grown local crop operation.
“It’s turned out to be something very rewarding,” Renzi said of the company that she operates with her husband, called RomaReady.
Renzi held an open house on Monday afternoon at the greenhouse that serves as a home for her operation. The open house allowed community members the opportunity to walk through the greenhouse and see all of the seasonal crops that are in the process of being grown.
Renzi also showcased pictures that documented the state of the greenhouse before she took it over.
To celebrate the progress of the operation, Renzi enlisted the assistance of her daughter and son-in-law to provide catering services for the event, one of which is a lead chef at a restaurant in Winston-Salem, and the other is a pastry chef.
“I wanted to do an open house to get everyone together that has helped on this project to show the progress,” Renzi said.
According to Renzi, she took over the greenhouse in May and essentially cleared it out and made it ready for crop production again.
Renzi’s goal is to provide fall crops for local veterans and the elderly, although she would also like to market her items to local restaurants.
In addition to her outreach plans, Renzi said that she’s in the process of partnering with public schools in the area to offer some of her items to local students, in addition to allowing them the opportunity to learn what it takes to cultivate a steady supply of seasonal produce such as Renzi has.
“We’ve got to get the kid’s hands in the ground and dirt,” Renzi said of her goal to have area youth more in touch with where vegetables come from.
Renzi is in the process of growing numerous selections of beats and carrots, Asian greens, kale, tomatoes, and even edible flowers.
Renzi was born in the Philippines, raised in Hong Kong, China, and has been a longtime resident of Pilot Mountain.
Renzi explained that the name RomaReady was influenced by the fact that her husband is Italian.
For more information about RomaReady, visit [email protected]
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.