Retail Construction Services, Inc. is dedicated to giving back.

We 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. Click Here for Full Story.

Retail Construction Services, Inc.
11343 39th Street N.
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

From HWY 36 - go south on Lake Elmo Ave, turn left onto 39th Street, garden is at corner of 39th and Laverne.
From HWY 5- going west from Stillwater take right onto Laverne (near Fury dealership) garden is on the right at corner of Laverne and 39th street.

See what else RCS and the Giving Garden are up to:
Like Us on Facebook& Follow Us on Twitter

The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden


Garden Shed Posts in Place!

On Friday, June 18th, we were joined in the garden by ALC students Joe Klover and Shanan Martin, along with a guest friend of Shanan's, and their instructor Tom Wendt. After all of the lines were marked prior to digging, the ALC team, along with Project Management staff from RCS put up the corner posts for the garden shed. This next week we will be finishing the frame work, followed by another date for its' completion. The video below shows the progress of the day along with the progress of some of our plants in the garden!


Garden Tool Donations Needed!

With the number of students and volunteers offering their time and talents in the garden, we are finding ourselves short on gardening tools! If you have old shovels, hoes, rakes, wheelbarrels, watering cans, ice cream buckets, small hand digging tools, pruners, etc., that you have thought about discarding... we have a very good home for them! Likewise for gardening gloves that you are ready to replace. We have many, many hands who come over from the schools and summer school programs who would love to give your tired pair of old gardeing gloves some extra miles. If you have items to donate, please contact us at 651.704.9000 ext. 750, or stop by; 11343 39th Street North, Lake Elmo, MN 55042. We would love to have you visit the garden!


Bringing Structure to a Garden

Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion about everything - except itself.
~May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep, 1968

The ALC High School students, Nate, Joe and Dexter, along with their instructor, Tom Wendt were out in the garden today. They put up structures to support the tomatoes as they grow, along with building tee-pee structures for the zucchini and cucumber to climb on. They weeded several rows of onion, peppers, corn and broccoli, and tasted some fresh radishes and strawberries. The work was not without fun conversation!

Some of the talks were on;
- What is your favorite type of food?
- An exchange of favorite recipes that were shared by the students
- AND, the question that brought about some really fun discussions --- What is the strangest food you have ever tried?

Frog (the whole frog), possum, turtle, kidney's, fermented eggs were some of the offered "strange" dishes. The one that topped the list was an omlet that Joe shared that someone else had eaten and we will leave out the ingredients. Needless to say, a lot of "that's just not right" along with a lot of laughter in the garden took place...

The potatoes in our potato barrels have begun to grow, and we already have apples and pears!

Guys, you were a blast and we look forward to your next visit to the garden!


Planting for an Educational Harvest

Last Wednesday was a very busy day in the garden! The kids from the Lake Elmo Elementary Adventure Club came out to the garden at 7:30 am to plant their seedlings. The kids from SPIN had planted broccoli and cauliflower seeds early this year. While they received a lot of TLC at school, it was time to free them from their temporary home and give their legs room to grow in the garden. Staff members Lisa and Malorie were joined by the planting talents of Hannah, Josh, Tyler, Izzy, Erin, Andrew, Lizzie, Amelia, Tera and Grace! They learned the importance of loosening the roots of the seedlings, giving a little drink of water in the transplant hole as well as topping it off with more H2O.

Since the Adventure Club helped plant our 110 donated strawberry plants, each helper was treated to taste a strawberry from the garden! Smiles were guaranteed was well as a few puckered mouths as the kids were able to taste the difference between home grown strawberries vs. the ones bought in the grocery stores. We again asked the question: Why shouldn’t you eat strawberries in October? (see our July 2009 blog on this topic)

At 9 am and again at noon we were joined by Tom Wendt and two groups of students from the Stillwater ALC High School. Here to get there their hands dirty were;

At 9:00: Tyler Maysack ,Riley Rolling, Brian Dickie, Jake Tobin, Chelsie Lindberg, Gus Membrez, Dexter Peltier, Devin Paulson, Nate Eldridge, Justin Anton, Michael Jackson-Anthony, David Meyer and Tony Howlette

At 12:00: Maria Anderson, Joe Klover, Conner Mulcahy and Evan Johnson

Both groups were very busy as they did the following projects:
 Planted VERY smelly plants around the perimeter of the garden to keep away the bunnies. These plants were donated by Chippewa Valley Growers
 Plant donated vegetables from Bergmann’s Greenhouse and Garden (Thank you Peggy!)
 Thinned the seedlings on the cucumber & zucchini mounds
 Weeded rows of seedlings
 Pulled out and set up all of the rain barrels
 Planted the potato barrel's!

Working in a garden, we all experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Education is so much more than sitting in a class room and studying text books. The garden shows how complicated life can be; always in transition and constantly changing. Gardening attunes us to life’s struggles for renewal, richness and balance. Gardening every day and through the seasons keeps us in touch with the cycle of life - we can see plants each day through our seasons that are thriving, dying, seeding, fruiting, healthy and battling with disease. So is true in our own lives.

Self affirmation, community spirit, problem solving, digging, contemplation, simplifying---these are the qualities that foster a flourishing, fruitful garden and a flourishing, hands on education. As we work together, RCS and all of the students, to create the right conditions in the soil; growth will follow and the educational harvest will be plentiful.

Enjoy the video below! Thanks all! Joni


Adopted Broccoli

The RCS Giving Garden recently adopted three broccoli plants! Chaunce and Naomi Stanton from St. Paul had extra broccoli seedings that needed a good home that could offer a loving environment, with good dirt, fresh water and lots of sunshine.

Well, the Giving Garden had all of those, so in the dirt they went to stretch those roots and grow. The newly installed irrigation system should ensure lots of liquid refreshment and the compost donation by Future Farms will continue to work it's magic in the soil.

We appropriately named these plants; Chaunce, Naomi and Stanton in honor of their donators and the produce that will soon be donated to the food shelf. Thank you Stanton's!