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


PowerUp Powered Up the Giving Garden!

PowerUp Team with a rainbow of veggies in hand!
L to R:  Marna Canterbury, Sephanie Kovarik, Jane McMullen and Lainie Steffen
(Click on any photo to enlarge)
Harvesting Edamame beans!
Weighing the produce
The PowerUp  team joined us in the garden today!  What is PowerUp?  PowerUp is a community-wide youth health initiative to make better eating and active living easy, fun, and popular, so that our youth can reach their full potential. 
Please click here to visit their website at: 

Marna with red veggies
Stephanie with purple cabbage
The vision of this Giving Garden and that of PowerUp are in direct alignment.  Part of PowerUp’s count down for powered up kids and families includes having four or more colors on your plate. Well, the group today was able to pick a wide variety of the color spectrum to donate and put on the plates of those residents who utilize the Valley Outreach food shelf!

Red; Dragon carrots, tomatoes, beets, rutabaga,
Orange:  Carrots, heirloom Nebraska Wedding tomatoes
Jane with a regular carrot and a
purple dragon carrot
Lainie with a LARGE Rutabaga!
Yellow: Corn, banana peppers, heirloom yellow pear tomatoes, summer squash
Purple:  Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple beans

Green:  Kale, kohlrabi, cucumbers, zucchini, edamame beans, green peppers,

Rainbow:  Rainbow Swiss chard, popcorn

Dragon and regular carrots
While working, the conversation turned to some of the wonderful recipes that could be made with these wonderful colors.
Red and gold roasted beets
Click for photo credit
Roasted Beets:
Cube beets, toss with olive oil and sea salt, and add sliced onions.  Grill in a veggie grill basket, or in the oven, until the mixture begins to caramelize.  You can also add garbanzo beans ¾ of the way through cooking to add a nutty flavor! 
You can also do this with carrots.

Edamame Beans:
You can either leave this in the pod and cook, or you can shell them like peas to add to a dish.  Below are two recipes:

Click for Photo Credit
Edamame Pod dish:  Make a sauce of 5 T of light soy sauce, 3T sesame oil.  If you want it spicier, you can add some Sriracha sauce.  Boil edamame pods for 1 minute.  Mix with sauce and enjoy!  You can top with red pepper flakes for even more spice.

Click for Photo Credit
Edamame and Couscous (or Quinoa):  Take about 2 cups cooked couscous or quinoa.  Add lemon juice, lemon zest, some chopped cilantro.  If you don’t grow edamame, you can find them in the freezer section.  Add thawed, shelled edamame beans.  To add more color to the dish, you can add diced tomatoes, peppers, etc., whatever you have available.  Delicious and nutritious!

Recipe Credit Martha Stewart
Edamame Spread:  Boil about 2 cups edamame and 3 large garlic cloves until tender, about 5 minutes.  In a food processor, puree edamame, garlic cloves, zest of one lemon, 1 to 2 T of the lemon juice, about a tsp of olive oil and1/2 cup water (can use the water they boiled in) until very smooth, about 2 minutes. If needed, thin by adding water one tablespoon at a time. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (If needed, add additional water.) Serve with radishes and crackers.

Isoflavones, Antioxidants and Phytochemicals

Edamame has high nutritional value and health benefits. These green soybeans are a natural source of antioxidants and isoflavones, which has increased edamame's popularity in the United States. Antioxidants are beneficial because they can help prevent negative effects of free radicals in the body. Eating antioxidant-rich foods has been associated strengthening your immune system and with reducing your risk of cancer, hardening of the arteries and neurodegenerative diseases. Isoflavones are phytohormones that may help reduce prostate and breast cancer, diminish the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and ease menopausal symptoms. Women who are menopausal and have low estrogen levels may benefit from snacking on a handful of edamame daily because of the natural soybean's phytochemical quality.

PowerUp Team after learning they set a new 2013 daily harvest record!
This group was truly Powered Up and broke a 2013 daily record by picking 151 lbs of produce today!  Thank you PowerUp team, not only for your volunteer hours in the Giving Garden, but for the wonderful initiatives, lessons and message you are bringing to the St. Croix Valley kids and families! We look forward to a very long partnership!
- Contributing writer, Joni Fletty