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


SPIN Corn Maze!

SPIN Students in our verion of a Corn Maze!  (Click any photo to enlarge)
The SPIN Students returned to the garden today, only to find a peculiar sight! At the top of one of the cucumber tee-pee’s sat a lone cucumber with a yellow color to it. We are still checking to see if this one plant is a lemon cucumber plant, or if we have a nutrient deficiency in our soul. However, it seems that it is only this one plant that has more yellow cucumbers with some of them looking more like round balls!

Questions came up from the students to Joy in our office about why the corn was not ready and what to look for when it will be. Joy recruited Curt in our office, our resident ‘corn expert’ to answer the questions.

Front Row L to R:  Michael, Emma
Back Row L to R:  Jonn, Joe, Lisa, Sydney

So, “How do you know when corn is ready to be picked?” Corn is ready as soon as the ears have completely filled out. This goes for sweet corn and roasting ears. You can tell when this happens by feeling the end of an ear. If it's rounded or blunt rather than pointed, the ears are ready. The silks also dry up when the ears are almost ready to be picked.

If you don't trust your judgment, you can pull back a bit of the husk and check to see if the ear looks well filled and the kernels are creamy yellow or white. Many gardening guides tell you to pierce a kernel with your thumb nail to test for ripeness. If the liquid inside is watery, that ear isn't quite ready. If the liquid is white or "milky," you're in business. Click here for an article on this by the National Gardening Association.

Click Photos to Enlarge
Then a 2nd corn question was asked: “How will we get into the corn?” You see, we planted our rows only 2’ apart this year – so Joy, in her fun spirited way, told the students “Follow ME!" You can see by the collage of corn pictures that they had a lot of fun just making their way from one end to the other… a corn maze of their very own!

The morning was finished by picking zucchini, cucumbers, egg plant (a LOT), beans, peas, etc . . . They noticed one eggplant and one pepper plant had toppled over and needed rescuing, so they staked that plants up. From there they brought 62 lbs of produce to Valley Outreach food shelf.

Logging the produce after weighing it!

This next Friday is the last day that the SPIN program will be in the garden. Where did the summer go? We will miss seeing the white and red bus pull into the parking lot, but we also know that we will be seeing it again this next year. We also hope that the students come to visit the garden on their own with their families!

SPIN Students, we will see you next Friday!
Thank you!
Click to start photo slideshow