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


Summer Stretch Visits the Garden!

The students from the St. Croix Summer Stretch Program made their first visit to the Giving Garden!  Their two previous attempts were rained out, so today the sun was shining and ready for their helping hands.  This group painted our sign posts and weeded the garden.  The smiles you see on their faces were the same smiles we saw the entire time they were working.  What a great group!  Thank you gals!


Strawberries and Weeds and SPIN Kids - OH MY!

A group of kids from the Stillwater SPIN program were in the garden today to pick strawberries and weed.  While the weeding is not always the favorite job in the garden, these kids were troopers and also had a change to taste some great berries from the garden as a treat for their hard work!  Thank you SPIN!


Giving Garden Project Board Completed!

Our Project Board was completed today!  Mike Lubarski, a Project Manager at RCS, worked through the afternoon humidity to created this great addition to the garden.  Not only is he an amazing carpenter with bits and pieces of recycled lumber; he has the ability to look at a tiny picture that was emailed to him and come up with this prototype.  ("Mike, could you build this above our irrigation stand?" - guilty party? - Joni...)  Carpentry is an art, and Mike's translation of a tiny emailed photo confirms that.

What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part.  In this garden we make every effort to reuse, re-purpose, recyle and do by hand.  From the wooden window blinds that became row markers, our recycled garden shed, to this project board.  We will take every opportunity we can, to teach by example, what can be done with materials saved from the landfill. 

We will be utilizing this project board to write our To Do List for garden chores.  Not only will this help our staff of volunteers, but those volunteers from the community who stop by and want to help out.

SPECIAL THANKS to Mike Lubarski, along with a thank you to Mary and Jim!  (more photos below)

Mike Lubarski - Project Manager

Jim Ashbach and Mike Lubarski

Mary Gilbertson and Mike Lubarski

Jim Ashbach and Mike Lubarski
Side view of the project board


Amazing Spinach and Lettuce Crop!

We definitely have been battling the weeds this year... but after they were removed we saw that we have the most amazing crop of lettuce and spinach this year!  Wow!  It won't be long before we are heading to the food shelf with these wonderful treats!

A little garden humor;Will this crop bring joy? Yes!
Then Lettuce all smile.


Stawberries in June - Our 1st 2011 Donation!

We had our first donation for 2011 today!  1.3 lbs of fresh strawberries!  It reminds us of the lesson we taught in 2009 to SPIN students in the garden called:  "The cost of eating strawberries in October". 

Did You Know?
  • 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. It use to be that people ate 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.
  • 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.          (Animal, Vegetable Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver)
So what is the cost of eating
Strawberries in October?