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


Trillium Garden Club Friends Share their Helping Hands

A big THANK YOU goes out to my friend, Shelly, and members of the Stillwater Perennial Garden Club Trillium Chapter for helping to harvest 55 pounds of produce on a gorgeous September morning!  

The garden keeps on producing a nice variety of summer squash, tomatoes, beans, Asian greens, chard, carrots, peppers and cabbage.  Take a peek at our ripening pumpkins and delicious raspberry crop!  

- Submitted by Kathy Luoma, Washington County Master Gardener and Trillium Garden Club member!


Willis and Remembering 911 in the Garden

Willis of Minnesota assisted in today’s harvest.  The produce was still wet with morning due.  The cool air made it enjoyable to harvest and do some weeding here and there.   

We harvested 32 pounds of produce.  The produce wasn’t the only topic on our minds this morning.  Remembering the victims and families of 911, the firefighters and law enforcement, and the impact it made on America 14 years ago was also on our minds this beautiful sunny morning.  

A "Thank You" goes out to the lovely ladies that spent their morning with us. 

- Contributed by Joy Grognet


Honey Donation & and an Upward Moving Queen Bee

A.J. Moses uncapping the honey to extract!
Click on any photo to enlarge
This morning, A.J. Moses, our Beekeeper extraordinaire, stopped by with the honey from the honey harvest.  In total, we had 36 pounds of honey that were donated to the food shelf today that were harvested from one of our bee hives.

The honey from our 2nd hive cannot be harvested due to our very upward moving Queen Bee!  Apparently, she somehow got past the "queen excluder", and made her way to the top of the hive.  It is preferred to keep the queen in the lower portion of the hive to keep the brood there, leaving only honey in the top portion.  So, our entire 2nd hive has brood.  Good for the bee population, bad for honey production!

Here is a link to read more on the topic:

Thank you A.J. for all that you do for the Teaching Giving Garden bees and your volunteer help with the garden as a whole!

- Contributed by Joni Fletty


PowerUp, Organic Garden & Frogs!

The PowerUp Team posing with Scare Crow Bob!
L to R:  Stephanie Kovarik, Jennifer Strom, Kelly Appeldorn, Marna Canterbury,
Lainie Steffen and Julia Johnson
(Click any photo to enlarge)
Julia made friends with this guy
 in the corn patch!
The team from PowerUp came to the garden to harvest today!  PowerUp and Lakeview Foundation have been amazing partners with the RCS Teaching Giving Garden.

Not only in help with harvest time, but in 2014 they donated a greenhouse to the garden.  Because of that generous donation, the youth who learn here, were able to start from seed, 50% of the plants in this garden.

Marna, Stephanie, and Lainie have been to the garden before.  This time they brought with them three new helpers, Jennifer, Kelly and Julia!

We harvested rutabaga, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes (Marna's favorite), summer squash, zucchini, purple beans, carrots, kale, rainbow Swiss chard, pok choi, broccoli and the last kolhrabi!  103.1 pounds total.

Julia coming out of
the corn with "Chippy"
Julia entered the corn field, and emerged with a new friend, a green frog they nick named "Chippy".  Chomp is the mascot for PowerUP, so they named this one "Chippy"!  Julia had him on her shoulder as she harvested, and finally, he rested on her pony tail while posing for pictures with the group.

"Chippy" being unsociable!
This garden has several frogs.  As we harvested, we discussed that frogs are a healthy thing to see in an organic garden.  While the organic nature is healthy for them to hang out in, they also take care of the insects that can invade the garden.  Too many frogs could eliminate our pollinators, but this has been a very healthy garden this year!

Chomp at the edge of our
Thank you to the PowerUP team.  You have an incredible program and your message to youth and families is in synergy with this Teaching Giving Garden.  What an amazing partnership this has been!  We look forward to see you again soon!

Please read up on PowerUp at:

103.1 Pounds harvested for Valley Outreach today!
- Contributed by Joni Fletty


Author D.S. Venetta donates book to the Teaching Giving Garden

Show Me The Green - Author D.S. Venetta

The RCS Teaching Giving Garden connected via Twitter with a wonderful Author, D.S. Venetta.

She has written a gardening book for children that has lessons in the back.  She sent the RCS Teaching Giving Garden two copies.  I will be sharing these with our Master Gardener teachers and we will be putting these to good use this next year with our 2016 garden students.

Check her out at:  @dsvenetta on Twitter or at: 

D.S. Venetta Author Page

Thank you D.S. Venetta!  This will enrich the lessons that we provide the youth in this Teaching Giving Garden!