THE GARDEN STORY

Here at Retail Construction Services, Inc., we are dedicated to giving back.

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.
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LOCATION:

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.


The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden

7/24/13

Summer Stretch in the Garden from Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury!

Back Row L to R: MG Liz, Blake, Dixie (adult in blue t-shirt), Amara, Hattie, Erika,
Charlene, Jacob (red hat), MG Mary.  Front row L to R: Cata, Katie and Leah.
(Click any photo to enlarge)
Garden Volunteers getting their silly on!
Today at the Giving Garden, we had a great group make their first trip this summer to RCS. We learned about using our powers of observation in the Garden as well as how to use Permaculture, (the practice of producing food, energy, etc., using ways that do not deplete the earth’s natural resources) to manage our garden.
Looking at the onions, we learned about plant structure and headed in to weed and snip the developing flowers off so the developing onion bulb would keep all the energy to fatten up. The raspberries were just starting to turn garnet red so we took a look ‘under their skirts’ to find the reddest berries for picking. We even had a taste! We learned that the ripe berries ‘fall off’ easily when they are ready if you hold your hand under them and give a gentle tug or flick with your finger. We were careful to avoid a sneaky invader in the berry patch – Woody Night shade/Bittersweet. It’s a pretty vine that is poisonous and can’t be eaten.
NightShade
For more information about the NightShade plant in MN, click on this link:  NIGHTSHADE
Purple Beans and Raspberries
Gray Squash Bugs
Next we headed over to the cool purple beans ready for their first harvest. Joni told us they turn green when you cook them! We noticed a few enemies chomping away so we got the buckets with soapy water.

Pest Removal Duo!
Our dynamic duo on bug duty collected over 50 Japanese Beetles from bean rows to kale to raspberries. We found two other enemies trying to take over the summer squash and cucumbers (a.k.a. curcurbits): powdery mildew and a weird silver bug that moved fast when we tried to squish them.
Powdery Mildew is a disease that is spread by splashing raindrops hitting the mildew’s powder. The mildew can grow on a leaf until it covers the leaf, stopping it from getting the sunlight it needs-killing the leaf, spreading to other leaves and eventually killing the plant.

Removing Powdery Mildew Leaves

We started removing the diseased leaves and when we were done the cucumbers looked much better (well done Ladies!). We couldn’t catch those silver bugs so we reported them to the ‘Keeper of the Garden’ Joni to find out more about them.

And another cabbage worm

Cabbage Worm blends in!

Our hard-working group finished putting up the netting for the summer squash to climb and we put up the last supports for the cucumbers. We noticed camouflaged green worms eating away on the nearly ready cabbage. Chalk up another 25 pests removed by a couple of eagle-eyed girls!
Today was not too hot and not too cool. It was JUST RIGHT for getting lots done! We thank the Summer Stretch Group for accomplishing so much AND for delivering our 2.5 lbs of raspberries and 2.5 lbs of purple beans to Valley outreach.

- Contributing writer, Master Gardener Liz Smith