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


First Donation of 2012 - Oh Sweet Strawberries!

First Donation for 2012!
 We had our first donation to Valley Outreach Food Shelf today!  4.1 lbs of Strawberries.  We had an early season of blossoms and it looks like it will be a bumper crop of berries.

Fun Strawberry Facts:
• Did you know there are about 200 seeds in every strawberry?

• A 100g serving of strawberries will serve you for just 50 calories - that's a whooping 0g of fat - Another punnet anyone?

• We're all smiles - did you know strawberries can help whiten your teeth? The acids in the fruit help to remove stains.

• Strawberries are full of a special substance called ellagic acid which can help fight cancers.

• They are also full of flavonoids, which form part of the strawberry's red color. They are known to help reduce cholesterol from clogging up the heart's arteries.

• Eight strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange, that's 140% of our daily recommended amount.

• The word strawberry comes from the Old English words "streowberie" or "streawbelige". There are a few theories about how they got their name. The "straw" bit could come from the straw that was used to keep the strawberries fresh, or it could come from "strewed", which means to spread wide.

• You cannot be serious! Strawberries can also be white or yellow and some can even taste like pineapples.

• The strawberry plant, along with its good mate the raspberry plant, are members of the rose family.

• The Romans loved their wild strawberries - and not only for their taste. They believed strawberries could cure a number of illnesses.

• If you're watching your waistline, why not sprinkle a little black pepper over your strawberries instead of the usual calorific cream? It doesn't sound that appetizing, but you'll be pleasantly surprised...


Thank you St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center!

Seated - L to R:  Kelly Fossum, Ryan Jerentosky, Elliot Svendsen
Standing - L to R:  Charlie Acker, Jaymen Mihm, Brian Dickie, Jackson Maiers, Max Christenson, Henry Simmons, Kaleigh Dallman, Mary Sullivan, Mitchell Doruff, Tori Desparois, Kelsey Ellis, Josh Anderson
(Click to Enlarge)
We received extra photos from the St. Croix Valley Area Learning Center of planting day, which gives us  opportunity to extend another "Thank You" to this great group of young adults.

We are so thrilled and excited that the students have now begun their own garden project!!  You can watch their progress at:  This garden will bring full circle learning... A "Life Lab" of sorts with an opportunity to have hands-on-learning of:

Health & Well Being: Healthy Eating, Cooking, Food Preservation
Agriculture: Crop Rotation, Soil Erosion, Plant Extinction
Environment: Fossil Fuels and Alternative energy, Water Conservation
 Science: Soil Testing, plants, cycles, ecology, weather
Community: Charity, Volunteerism, Commerce

To paraphrase a quote from Rachel Carson:  "For the youth. . . it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early learning are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused - a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love - then we wish for knowledge about the object of our emotional response . . . It is more important to pave the way for youth to want to know than to put them on a diet of facts that they are not ready to assimilate."

Congrats students on your new garden venture, and we look forward to the days that you can join us in the RCS Giving Garden!  You, in turn, inspire all of us!

Planting a Garden of Five Senses

2012 RCS Giving Garden
Dragon Carrots!
Planting day has arrived! We were so excited to receive the amazing gift of so many starter plants from Peggy at Bergmann's Green House and Farm Market in Stillwater! Bergmann’s donated squash, zucchini, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomato, pepper, eggplant, and cauliflower plants along with seed potatoes many sets of onions.

Our seeds were donated by an anonymous source. This year’s seed crop consists of corn, green beans, yellow beans, sugar snap peas, spinach, lettuce and carrots.

One of the new heirloom seeds we are trying this year from
Seed Savers is a row of “Dragon Carrots” or (Daucus carota). This carrot has beautiful red-purple exterior and has a sweet, almost spicy flavor. We will share the results with you when the carrots mature in about 90 days!
UPS Volunteer Team:
Back Row - L to R:  Jason Briggs, Kevin Jensen
Front Row - L to R:  Brian Pike, Lynne Barten, Sherri Montgomery, Traci Poulsen, Teresa Seide
Not only did we have several RCS Employees in the garden for planting, but we were once again joined by a team from UPS, Master Gardener Paul Richtman, as well as students from the Stillwater ALC High School and their instructor Tom Wendt.

Master Gardener:  Paul Ritchman
(Click to Enlarge)

Tom Wendt (with Camera) - Teacher with Stillwater's ALC High School.
Student names to follow - More student photos in slideshow below
(Click to Enlarge)

Each and every person who has helped with this Giving Garden project has had a profound impact on the lives of others. If you think you're too small to make a difference, you haven't been in a tent with a mosquito!

In New Delhi, India, there is a garden called “
The Garden of Five Senses”. The Garden is designed to stimulate one's sensory responses to the environment. An amalgamation of color and fragrance, texture and form evokes the awareness of touch, smell, sight, sound and taste.

I was recently reminded by someone that our garden too is a ‘garden of five senses’… What is the difference between looking at a photo of a garden and being in the garden itself? Simple: The real garden engages all your senses, not merely the sense of sight. The fragrance of the plants, a pleasant breeze or the feel of good soil, the inviting (or scary ;) sounds of bees, and the taste of home grown vegetables — all these add richness and depth to the experience of being in the garden and invite volunteers to linger and feel connected to the timeless rhythms of the this garden.

As we begin our 2012 season, we invite you to volunteer and bring others to the garden. Click on the calendar in the upper right of this website for available volunteer days Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Business groups, summer youth groups, church groups - - all groups welcome!

Thank you again to the planting crew – it’s going to be a great season!