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

6/14/17

And We're Off to a Wild Weather Start in the Garden!



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Our 2017 volunteer season began with a cool, wet early spring and planting day which then led to extreme heat, wind and drought followed by strong storms and HAIL!  We are fortunate to have lost just a handful of plants unlike other charity gardens in the Twin Cities metro area. Whew! I hope others are able to find plant donations and seeds! I have a few yellow pear tomato plants leftover if anyone needs them!

~ Here’s an update on our wonderful volunteers who have visited our garden so far ~


Time for Me Early Learning Center kids learned fun facts about strawberries and helped Master Gardener Eileen and I plant bare root strawberry plants in our three newly raised strawberry beds. We may not see berries this year like the ones above from my home garden; however, in the future we should be taste testing strawberry rhubarb jam. Rhubarb, actually a vegetable like celery, is also a welcome addition to our new strawberry area!
Check out our camouflaged gray tree frog friend who decided to join in the fun!



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Supply Chain folks from Andersen Windows Corporation helped us water and plant a few additional seeds, lay landscape fabric, pressure wash and sand picnic tables and tackle the weeds in the raspberry patch.  They look better than ever!  Thanks for your help!

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Teenagers from Our Savior’s Lutheran who are part of a local Summer Stretch church service program helped us with our first harvest of the season!  One pound of radishes!  We taught them how to use hoes to scrape the soil to loosen those baby surface weeds and prevent them from becoming monsters in the blink of an eye.  The kids did a great job of thinning lettuce and herbs and hand-weeding our raised beds, too.  Come back any time and thanks for your service!


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The SPIN kids from the Stillwater Area School District came out to the garden for their first visit of the season.  Elementary kids from the SPIN and Adventure Club program will visit our garden every Monday throughout the summer.  Yesterday Master Gardener Sue and I taught the kids about Tops, Middles and Bottoms...meaning which plant parts do we eat!  They helped us identify our rows by placing picture tags on our row stakes (thanks to Stillwater Junior High student volunteer, Rachel S.) and harvested the remaining radishes for donation.  Of course, we had to taste test a few radish with salt and sugar first!  Thanks for your help kids!
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Rachel S. helping with pre-planting garden tasks.  Thanks for your service hours!
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More pre-planting garden helpers!
Stillwater Area High School Lacrosse Boys helped weed the garden to prepare it for compost and tilling.  Thanks, guys!
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Finally, a huge thanks goes out to RCS staff (many whom are NOT pictured but have put in countless time) and Washington County Master Gardeners who helped on a rather cool Planting Day!  

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--submitted by Master Gardener Kathy Luoma