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

6/13/14

"Time For Me" Learning Center Visits the Garden for the First Time!

Click on any photo to enlarge
 The preschoolers from “Time For Me” Early Learning Center, just down the road from our garden, came to visit and have a lesson in the garden .  http://www.timeformecenter.com/

We talked about what things are extinct and what that word “Extinct” means.  Everyone was excited to raise their hand and share that they knew that dinosaurs were extinct and all that was left behind were bones! 

However, we then talked about how some fruits and veggies are going extinct, and they were very surprised! 

It is estimated that the average 
American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate. Because more and more people wanted to eat foods that were out of season, like strawberries in October, foods needed to be shipped from all around the world.   Farmers had to start breeding varieties that held up in boxcars, trucks, or ship’s cargo.  SUPER SEEDS!

Vegetables from hybrid (super) seed have some benefits like;  disease resistance, greater productivity, and a more uniform fruit (pretty), better pest resistance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, and added nutrition!  They are genetically altered to create a “super seed”.  With these super seeds, some of our Heirloom plants started to disappear! 

Heirloom = seeds passed down from generation to generation!

They were no longer grown, and their seeds no longer saved!

They learned that Andean farmers in Peru once grew some 4,000 potato varieties, each with its own name, flavor, and use, ranging in size from tiny to gigantic and covering the color spectrum from indigo-purple to red, orange, yellow and white.  Now, even in the regions of Peru least affected by the modern market, only a few dozen potato varieties 
are widely grown. 
The RCS Giving Garden introduces new heirloom vegetables to our garden every year.   Purple Beans, Dragon Carrots, Green Zebra, Black Sea and Red Zebra tomatoes, and Rainbow Swiss Chard to name a few
Did you know that when you cook purple beans, they turn green?!   And if you put them in a little olive oil and vinegar and put them in the fridge overnight, they turn a little light purple again!   At their next visit on July 11th, we should have some purple beans that they take home with them and experiment!

The RCS Giving Garden orders our heirloom seeds from Seed Savers at  www.seedsavers.org.     Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.   Since 1975, their members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners in order to bring back those delicious and rare varieties.

After hearing about Seed Savers, the Time for Me group thought it would be fun to grow Dragon Carrots in their garden next year!

Finally, we took a tour of the garden plants and then visited the bee hives from a safe distance. 

Thank you Time for Me for coming to our garden!  We will see you next month when everything has grown much taller and you can see the vegetables that are growing in the garden!
Bee hives in the shadow by the building
Click to enlarge
- Contributing Writer, Joni Fletty