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


Pajamas, Produce and Potting in the Giving Garden!

Spin Kids in the garden on Pajama Day!
Today marked the last scheduled visit for this summer’s SPIN group. It was also Pajama Day for them so they gardened in their jammies! What a great morning we had.

Their scouting showed a slow down in the number of familiar pest insects: Insects have a life cycle and some are only around for a few weeks. The kids focused on harvesting carrots, zucchini, beans, basil, turnips, beets, Swiss chard, the last remaining raspberries and, of course, kale and pak choi – our signature crops.
Basil cuttings with
well-developed roots

After weighing and recording today’s harvest we checked on the progress of the herb cuttings that were propagated two weeks ago. Some of the basil cuttings in water had roots and three were developed enough to be potted. The rest will need to grow for a week or two. The rosemary cuttings had tiny roots and will all need a few more weeks before going into pots.

We potted up the three basil plants and added them to the produce going to our neighbors at Valley Outreach.

Ornamental Coleus
The kids all took home a cutting from an ornamental Coleus plant so they can try propagating at home. They will treat the cutting the way we propagated the basil and will have a colorful little plant of their own soon.

Our lesson was a discussion of the definition of a fruit versus a vegetable. According to Mayo Clinic: “A fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It’s also the section of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves, roots and even the flower bud.”

We had fun quizzing ourselves using the familiar RCS Giving Garden Produce Record, which lists the crops grown in the Giving Garden. We talked about how we define these foods differently in the kitchen and the discussion led to recipes again! Here is what we found:

Inside of a Dragon carrot vs. a regular carrot!
Apples, Beans, Corn kernels, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Pears, Peapods, Peppers, Raspberries, Summer Squash, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Zucchini

Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Herbs, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choi, Potatoes, Soybean/Edamame seeds, Rutabagas, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Turnips

At the end of the visit the kids got into the van and headed to Valley Outreach to deliver their gifts – in their pajamas, naturally!

Here is the link to Mayo Clinic’s Nutrition-wise blog:

- Contributing Writer - Master Gardener Phyllis