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


THANKFUL for a prosperous 2016 growing season!

November 11, 2016
THANKFUL for a prosperous 2016 growing season!
Thanks to you and your helping hands...
We donated 1905.77 pounds of fresh produce to Valley Outreach this year!  
We also offered produce to our volunteers totaling another few hundred pounds that never made it to the scale.  

Of the hundreds of photos taken in the garden this season, I believe this has to be my favorite.  The hands of children sharing the first sugar snap peas of summer.  
I already miss the life they bring to the garden.


Last week the RCS staff dismantled the remainder of the garden in preparation for winter...though it still feels like summer was just in our rearview mirror on these warm sunny fall days.  I admire their hard work and determination in all they do.

Just a couple of more photos to leave you with spring on your mind…

Half price seeds for next year!  I couldn’t resist!
Purple way!  

The final harvest of kale and chard.
Just beautiful!

Come back in 2017 and join us!
Submitted by Kathy Luoma, Master Gardener for Washington County


Our Fabulous and Final Volunteers for 2016!

9/29/16  The Lake Elmo Elementary Adventure Club kids finally had some sunshine for their visit to the garden!  We compared green tomatoes and green tomatillo; similar in shape but oh so different in taste!  Peeling back the papery tomatillo husk revealed the green gem though we wondered why the fruit was sticky.  Turns out the sticky coating is a defense against hungry insects!  

Master Gardener Brandon and teacher Elizabeth helped the kids lift the remaining potatoes from the ground while others picked peppers, eggplant, the remaining summer squash and the mystery gourds.  Where they came from, I haven’t a clue, but they sure are cute!



To end our afternoon, we picked the remaining pears from our abundant pear tree.  They were delicious! We sure hope you and your family enjoyed your bag of vegetables.  See you in the spring and thanks for all of your help!  

Another visit from a group of Washington County Horticulture Society volunteers
These cheerful gardeners came out after work to help us pull the remaining squash, tomatoes and tomato cages just to name a few tasks.  I missed the photo op, but two adorable grandchildren of the couple in the red hats helped pick some veggies to bring home for dinner.  Kids are the best!
Thanks all for giving of your time!  You made our work so enjoyable!


9/21/16 RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!

Rain has made watering the garden very easy this summer, but it hasn’t made volunteer sessions in the garden so simple!  These swallowtail butterfly caterpillars munching happily on our parsley were the only live critters who got their photo taken earlier this week.  We human critters from Trillium and Daylily Garden Clubs and the Washington County Master Gardener program worked hard to harvest and get out of the downpour.  Hence, no photos!  Thanks, ladies!
Yukon Gold and French Fingerling potatoes ready for donation!

Washington County Horticulture Society members come out to the garden for the first time!
Thank you, Chuck, for your master soybean shucking, and thank you to Joan and Helen for grabbing all those tomatoes!  We picked 47 pounds of produce together.

Willis Insurance Agency volunteers help harvest 150 pounds!
Thanks for making the drive to Lake Elmo!  You are much appreciated for giving of your time on a soggy morning.



Tomato Sauce, Salsa, Tomato-Basil Pizza, Roasted Tomatoes, Caprese Salad, TOMATOES-A-PLENTY!

Tomato Sauce, Salsa, Tomato-Basil Pizza, Roasted Tomatoes, Caprese Salad, TOMATOES-A-PLENTY!
Don’t you wish our window of fresh tomato-picking could go a wee bit longer?  We wait and wait for tiny seeds to germinate in April, then transplant the seedlings into the garden when the soil warms, watch for buds in June, spy green fruit turn to red (or yellow or orange or purple…)in August to FINALLY being able to release them from their vines now!  Soon the waiting game will begin again.  Enjoy while you can!
Victoria and Elise making Pizza Margherita for the RCS staff with tomatoes and basil from the garden.

8/22/16 Garden Friends
Evan, King of the Corn Smut!
Thankfully, we only found two cobs with this interesting fungus.
Field of Dreams?
Cucumbers and Radish (our second planting!)

8/31/16 Andersen Windows Corporation Volunteers
When the kids go back to school, we rely on corporate volunteers to help us continue the harvest.  I forget just how much work a group of adults can accomplish!  Thanks for helping to pull some weeds and harvest 79 pounds of food!  

9/2/16 John and Janet Luoma
My in-laws came out to the garden to see where they can find me most days in the summer.  John was particularly fond of the pepper varieties!  He is very excited to try some extra special, extra spicy salsa thanks to Bob.  


“38% of our clients are children”


As I dropped off produce to Valley Outreach last week, I couldn’t help but freeze in my tracks when I saw this postcard.  We are so happy we can help provide fresh fruit and veggies to stock the shelves for our communities’ families in need of grocery assistance.  This garden season we have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of volunteers, mostly kids, and we don’t always know their stories.  Are their bellies full?  Do they have access to fresh produce?  This is why we now are offering kids the choice of taking home a bag filled with a few veggies to share with their families.  They are so excited to be able to pick some to keep and some to share!  

8/15/15  Adventure Club’s last visit for the season!

Eggplant kissing!?
This banana pepper grew a curl just like our volunteer’s hair!
The broccoli keeps coming!
Checking out the Sunflower House
Squash Bugs!  YUK!
We made ‘fancy appetizers!”  
Cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella pearls layered on toothpicks and drizzled with olive oil and sea salt--delicious!
Master Gardeners Kathy and Sue say goodbye for 2016
Bye kids!  Enjoy the rest of your summer!  We are grateful for your enthusiasm and helping hands!

8/17/16  Time For Me Kids Check on Their Sunflower House!
Almost touching the sky!
Tea Party in the shady Sunflower House!
Crazy Plants!  Some have ponytails (Amaranth) and some are shy to touch (Sensitive Plant).  Master Gardener Sue helped the kids pot up some extra to take home!  Thanks Master Gardener Dave for sharing!
Everyone took home tomatoes!
Picking pears!
Watermelon popsicles!
Come back and see the sunflowers soon!

8/19/16  Garden Friends harvest 110 pounds!
Gypsy Peppers and Green Beans

Muddy veggies need a little scrubbing!
Bree, our frequent Friday volunteer, and Sydney washing cabbage and onions.
Elise and Connie doing some radish cleaning.
Not pictured, but vital to this harvest--Master Gardener Deb!
The LaFontaine family and puppy Agate came back to help!  He likes pears!  I had great difficulty getting any work completed today with this little guy around.  Amy, Caden, Addie and Anna come back year after year.  Thanks to you!
60 pounds of fresh ‘Peaches and Cream’ Sweet Corn heading into Valley Outreach!
Thanks to my dear friend, Connie, for your visit from “Egypt (Lake Minnetonka area!).”  Thanks to frequent volunteers Elise and Sydney for continuing to help each year!