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.

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The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden


Harvesting Your Own Seeds Day!

The students from the Stillwater ALC High School were in the Retail Construction Giving Garden this morning for “seed” day. We talked about genetically engineered seeds and its impact on our world. (see photo video below for pictures from this morning!)

We began with the potato, and I don’t mean “French fries”! Potatoes were first cultivated by the Inca Indians in Peru in about 200 B.C. Andean farmers once grew some 4,000 potato varieties, each with its own name, flavor, and use, ranging in size from tiny to gigantic and covering the color spectrum from indigo-purple to red, orange, yellow and white.

People use to eat what they grew locally and what was in season. With the increased appetite for produce that was out of season (eating strawberries in October as an example), and the increased demand to ship produce all over the world, farmers had to start breeding varieties that held up in boxcars, trucks, or ship’s cargo.

Now, even in the regions of Peru least affected by the modern market, only a few dozen potato varieties are widely grown.

Additionally, Seed producing companies and scientists have created genetically engineered seeds that will produce crops only once. After that, people from across the world, and specifically third world nations, have to depend on the seed companies to create more seeds, because the crop seeds will not be of any use.

Because of the genetically altered produce and seeds, we found it important to share these lessons with the students and teach them how to cultivate their own seeds; specifically those seeds with a slimy coating on them like tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc. It’s a slimy, moldy stinky process, but its fruition is the free, unaltered seeds to plant for the coming year. Click here for an instruction sheet.

We also talked about the amount of fossil fuels it take for produce that is out of season to be shipped all across the world. (See the “Did you know” below)

We discussed organizations like Seed Savers, This is a member supported organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations. Through the efforts of these types of organizations, seeds for produce that was no longer grown are becoming available. Who knows, maybe one day we will have 4,000 varieties of potatoes back in existence? We encouraged the students to go to the Farmers Market in downtown St. Paul to sample the purple potato variety that has reintroduced to our tables.

Did you know?

· We put as much fossil fuels in our refrigerators as we do our cars?

· We consume 400 gallons of oil per year, per person, about 17% of our nation’s energy for agriculture? That includes tractors, tillers, fertilizer, insecticides, drying, packaging, shipping, etc…

· But getting the crop from seed to harvest only takes 1/5 of the total fossil fuel used for food.

· Each food item in a typical US meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles!

· If every US Citizen ate just one meal a week, any meal, composed of locally and organically grown meat or produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels every week.