THE GARDEN STORY

Here at Retail Construction Services, Inc., we want to give back.

Give back not only to those in need within our community, but also the future generations of this wonderful community. What started out as a great idea has grown exponentially and has become an amazing reality. Here at the RCS Giving Garden, school groups, master gardeners, corporate volunteers, and our own employees work together for the common good of teaching children the art of gardening and the importance of healthy eating.
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The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden

8/23/16

“38% of our clients are children”

8/22/16
 
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As I dropped off produce to Valley Outreach last week, I couldn’t help but freeze in my tracks when I saw this postcard.  We are so happy we can help provide fresh fruit and veggies to stock the shelves for our communities’ families in need of grocery assistance.  This garden season we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of volunteers, mostly kids, and we don’t always know their stories.  Are their bellies full?  Do they have access to fresh produce?  This is why we now are offering kids the choice of taking home a bag filled with a few veggies to share with their families.  They are so excited to be able to pick some to keep and some to share!  
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8/15/15  Adventure Club’s last visit for the season!


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Eggplant kissing!?
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This banana pepper grew a curl just like our volunteer’s hair!
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The broccoli keeps coming!
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Checking out the Sunflower House
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Squash Bugs!  YUK!
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We made ‘fancy appetizers!”  
Cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella pearls layered on toothpicks and drizzled with olive oil and sea salt--delicious!
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Master Gardeners Kathy and Sue say goodbye for 2016
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Bye kids!  Enjoy the rest of your summer!  We are grateful for your enthusiasm and helping hands!




8/17/16  Time For Me Kids Check on Their Sunflower House!
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Almost touching the sky!
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Tea Party in the shady Sunflower House!
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Crazy Plants!  Some have ponytails (Amaranth) and some are shy to touch (Sensitive Plant).  Master Gardener Sue helped the kids pot up some extra to take home!  Thanks Master Gardener Dave for sharing!
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Everyone took home tomatoes!
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Picking pears!
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Watermelon popsicles!
Come back and see the sunflowers soon!




8/19/16  Garden Friends harvest 110 pounds!
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Gypsy Peppers and Green Beans


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Muddy veggies need a little scrubbing!
Bree, our frequent Friday volunteer, and Sydney washing cabbage and onions.
Elise and Connie doing some radish cleaning.
Not pictured, but vital to this harvest--Master Gardener Deb!
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The LaFontaine family and puppy Agate came back to help!  He likes pears!  I had great difficulty getting any work completed today with this little guy around.  Amy, Caden, Addie and Anna come back year after year.  Thanks to you!
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60 pounds of fresh ‘Peaches and Cream’ Sweet Corn heading into Valley Outreach!
Thanks to my dear friend, Connie, for your visit from “Egypt (Lake Minnetonka area!).”  Thanks to frequent volunteers Elise and Sydney for continuing to help each year!


8/16/16

Looks Like We Missed Some! Squash Bugs in Action!

Looks Like We Missed Some!  
Squash Bugs in Action!
Earlier this season we spent time inspecting our squash family plants for small, red,  seed-like eggs on the underside of the leaves.  We removed many but obviously not all!  Here is what those little buggers look like now in the nymph and adult stages.  In case you are finding these in your own gardens, check out this University of Minnesota Extension publication.
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The latest and greatest photos of our wonderful volunteers in action!

July 27th-- Woodbury Peaceful Grove UMC
43 pounds harvested by these lovely ladies!
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Carolina Reaper Pepper!  These hotties are saved for Bob at RCS!
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This beautiful Swallowtail caterpillar was feeding on a carrot plant.

August 1st-- Adventure Club/Spin kids
Lots of bug-picking, our first cabbage harvest and 53 pounds to give!
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August 3rd--Woodbury Peaceful Grove UMC
What a steamy day!  Master Gardener Liz and the boys stayed hydrated and were still smiling!
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August 8th--Adventure Club/Spin kids
These girls harvested 45 pounds plus filled bags of veggies for their own families!
We learned how to help our busy bees pollinate our squash family plants by transferring pollen from flower to flower on small paintbrushes.
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Hippie Headbands!  Here is our attempt at a visual reminder NOT to pick the winter squash until later in the season.

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Garden friends...tree frogs and bees
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Garden foes...Japanese Beetles!  Soy Bean leaves are their current garden favorite


August 9th-- Woodbury Peaceful Grove UMC 3-5th Grade Daycamp Kids
Led by Master Gardeners Mary and Jessica
The critter of the day was a garter snake!  Composting, herb identification and pollination were the mini-lessons of the day.
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August 12th-- Master Gardener Deb and the LaFontaine family plus new puppy Agate.  I hope she liked the sunflower corner!  67 pounds harvested!  
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Corn Smut!  
MG Deb and the kids found this fungus while checking for the ripeness of the corn.  She shared that some people eat this fungus!  In Mexico it is known as “huitlacoche” and is eaten usually as a filling in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods and soups.  I know what I’ll be looking for with tomorrow’s group though I think I may pass on the taste test!



     As of August 12th, our volunteers have harvested
512 pounds of vegetables to donate to Valley Outreach families!  Great work all!