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

8/10/15

Nature is a Gift of Wonder!

Newly Emerged Monarch!

We witnessed a sight today that some will never see!  I love to find monarch butterfly eggs on my milkweed I have planted around my yard.  I never tire of watching these miniscule eggs hatch into beautiful striped caterpillars who then chomp their way through milkweed leaves until they are quite long and plump.  When these caterpillars make their light green chrysalis’ and then transform into majestic Monarch butterflies, we usually miss the show, but not on Monday!  

I knew I had a butterfly ready to emerge by the way the chrysalis changed from green to black, and I also knew from experience that most monarchs I have raised like to hatch in the late morning.  The monarch took a ride with me to the garden and was under careful watch as we harvested the veggies.  83 pounds of fresh food was picked today!
 There in the middle of the lesson, Ms. Monarch emerged before our very eyes!  It was amazing to watch her pump up her wings with her abdomen juices until she was the size she needed to be to fly!  For awhile, we thought she had a green worm attached to a leg but as time went on the green color “dried” and we determined that it was not a worm or parasite but a smaller, deformed leg.  Her handicap never stopped her!  My favorite quote of the day came from one of the adults because after all, we get just as excited as kids!  She said, “I will remember this my whole life!”  
When the group had all arrived, we met at the picnic table for a lesson on the botanical difference between fruits and vegetables (see last week’s blog for the lesson description).  
          
Watch our video here!
video
For more information on monarchs and how you too can help increase their declining population, check out this link from Monarch Watch! http://www.monarchwatch.org/

Folks out there who ever wonder what it’s like to teach outdoors?  There is nothing better that the learning that comes from immersing ourselves in a garden surrounded by nature in all of its glory!  

“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.”  R.H. Heinlein

Contributed by Kathy Luoma, Master Gardener
Assisted by Tricia Jorgenson, Master Gardener, and Victoria B.