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


Sky High Humidity and an Awesome Group of Gals!

(Click to enlarge any photo)

Whew! The clouds looked like they would keep us cool volunteering in the giving Garden today, but the humidity was sky high!

We had our awesome group of girls back from last week. They were only a crew of 5 but WOW did they get stuff done!   Thank you Woodbury Peaceful Grove UMC Summer Stretch!

This week our lesson was a quick 
                                                      review of plant structure
Weeding the onions
and how to use our skills of observation to know what our garden needs. Holding our arm straight to the earth and spreading our fingers out we compared plant structure to our arm = plant stalk, wrist = base of plant where the stalk meets the soil, fingers = roots. We used this knowledge to learn how to weed well.

Onions weeded and mulched
Then we honed our observation skills like good scientists and detectives to 'read' the garden. It was tough differentiating the onions from the slender look-alike weeds but practice with garden tools (hoe and tine hoe) made short work of them.

While we weeded and mulched the onions, picked strawberries, thinned turnips and put up zucchini and squash supports, we had many teachable moments today - how different amended and un-amended soils feel when weeding, how the process of composting makes heat
The beginning of Powdery Mildew

Wet weather dampening
our cover straw!

(when we separated cover straw from the bale), how cover straw is different from feed hay, why mulch works, 'emergenseeds' in the garden: aka the importance of removing weeds about to seed, and 'infectious invaders' - Powdery mildew creeping into the summer squash and zucchini - and how high humidity and splashing rain make it spread! Our efforts contributed 5lbs of strawberries to Valley Outreach, making our strawberry donation 11.5 to date.

- Contributing Writers, Master Gardeners - Mary Green and Liz Smith

Strawberries ready for the food shelf!