Vespers for these times… May 17, 2020

Its Garden Time!


Hark the Vesper bell is pealing,

O’er the meadow, soft and green.

Nearer now and nearer stealing,

Soft it breaks upon my ear.

Jubilate, jubilate, jubilate, Amen. Julbilate, jubilae, jubilate, Amen.

First Thoughts: Hooray!  Time to put the hoe to the ground, the rake to the weeds, the seeds to the ground!  It’s garden time at Camp Betsey Cox.  Today’s Vespers?  Brings you to the camp garden, that lovely spot overlooking Bird Mountain and the hills beneath.  Are you there?  It’s an inspiring Vespers spot!

Sing: “Garden Song”

Inch by inch, row by row…

Gonna make this garden grow.

All you need is a rake and a hoe

and a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch, row by row,

someone bless these seeds I sow.

Someone warm them from below

til the rains come tumbling down.

Pulling weeds, picking stones.

We are made of dreams and bones.

Need a place to call my own for the time is near at hand.

Grain for grain, sun and rain.

Find my way thru nature’s chain.

Tune my body and my brain to the music of the land.

Plant your rows straight and long.

Temper them with prayer and song.

Mother earth will make you strong if you give her love and care.

An old crow watching hungrily

from his perch in yonder tree.

In my garden I’m as free as that feathered thief up there!

Inch by inch, row by row…

Gonna make this garden grow.

All you need is a rake and a hoe,

and a piece of fertile ground.

Inch by inch, row by row,

Someone bless these seeds I sow.

Someone warm them from below

til the rains come tumbling down.

A Garden Story: “The See that Grew” by Jade Maitre

Once a girl had an idea….

She rolled it….

Felt the shape of it….

Tasted it….

When she could weigh it in her hands, she took it and put it into the earth.

The earth was soft and welcoming.  She made it a bed there.

She covered it over with the ideas that had come before…

Warmed it with her heart and belief that it could be….

Something tall….

Something wild…..

Something beautiful.

She watered it with her sweat, as she worked the soil….

Supporting the precious roots….

The strong green stalk that pushed faithfully up….

towards the sky that knew no limit,

towards a point that was not fixed, but vast and unknown….

except from the beating of heart and the pulsing of blood; the whisper of 

wind in branches and the churn of oceans and lakes

towards the earnest, undiscovered terrain, up the stalk pressed and persisted.

encouraged along by the girl.

And when it reached the place perfect for it, it knew what to do without her.

It unfurled, gorgeous beyond all expectations, and let off tiny blooms

that carried in the wind.

Sing: “Plant a Radish” from the Musical, The Fantastics —a light-hearted look at gardening!  Can you imagine your counselor humming this song when you are not quieting down in your cozy cabin after bed??

Plant a radish.

Get a radish.

Never any doubt.

That’s why I love vegetables;

You know what you’re about!

Plant a turnip.

Get a turnip.

Maybe you’ll get two.

That’s why I love vegetables;

You know that they’ll come through!

They’re dependable!

They’re befriendable!

They’re the best pal a parent’s every known!

While with children,

It’s bewildering.

You don’t know until the seed is nearly grown..

Just what you’ve sown.


Plant a carrot,

Get a carrot,

Not a Brussels sprout.

That’s why I love vegetables.

You know what you’re about!

Life is merry, 

If it’s very


A man who plants a garden 

Is a very happy man!

Plant a beanstalk.

Get a beanstalk.

Just the same as Jack.

Then if you don’t like it,

You can always take it back!

But if your issue

Doesn’t kiss you,

Then I wish you luck.

For once you’ve planted children

You’re absolutely stuck!

Every turnip green!

Every kidney bean!

Every plant grows according to the plot!

While with progeny,

It’s hodge-podgenee.

For as soon as you think you know what kind you’ve got

It’s what they’re not!


Plant a cabbage.

Get a cabbage.

Not a sauerkraut!

That’s why I love vegetables.

You know what you’re about!

Life is merry

If it’s very


A man who plants a garden

Is a very happy man!

A vegitari-

Very merry


Circle up Everyone!

Here is a matching exercise for you!  Imagine yourselves circling up with your cabin mates (now with your family!).  Could you get these right?  Every one of these veggies is a Camp BC vegetable, seeds/plants going in this week!  (Answers to be found at the end of Vespers.)







____brussel sprouts



____green peas

a.  Europeans eat 220 pounds of these per person each year.  Americans eat 110 pounds per person per year

b.  2000 years ago this vegetable was farmer-made by breeding several kinds of wild cabbage.  In Italy.

c.  tastes best if harvested after the first frost

d.  though a very good food, this vegetable suffers from  a very bad reputation, especially with kids.

e.  really a group of flower buds.  Comes in 4 colors

f.  not nutritionally rich, but worshipped by Egyptians

g.  a British woman age 7,175 of these in 1 minute, with Chopsticks.  It was a world record.

h.  this vegetable originated in Persia

i.  second most popular vegetable after potatoes

j.  entire plant can be eaten, including the root

EXTRA CREDIT:  What is Lorrie’s favorite vegetable of all these?  

Sing: “Come In To This Place of Peace”—When BC community members are asked about their favorite place in camp, many say “the garden”.  It is a place of peace.  Here is a song that celebrates that wonderful place.  Why not sing it twice for extra memories?

Come into this place of peace, and let its silence heal your spirit.

Come into this place of memory, and let is history warm your soul.

Come into this place of prophecy and power, 

And let its vision change your heart.

A Few Words:  Robert Frost wrote a poem about planting a garden.  As a good Vermont poet to a Vermont camp director, I relate to his words about the first spring step in creating a summer garden.  Here is his poem:


You come to fetch me from my work to-night

when supper’s on the table, and we’ll see 

if I can leave off burying the white

soft petals fallen from the apple tree

(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,

mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;)

and go along with you ere you lose sight

of what you came for and become like me,

slave to a springtime passion for the earth.

How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed

on through the watching for that early birth 

when, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,

the sturdy seedling with arched body comes

shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

In order for you to enjoy the food that you help grow there in the camp garden. we must plant it well before you arrive.  That is regrettable!  There is something very special about putting an apparently dried, lifeless seed into the ground only to see it give back to us just weeks later as tasty food on the salad bar or on our tables.

Of course there’s also lessons to be learned in a garden—like that it will not grow and thrive unless we care for it.  There’s a life lesson, for sure.  There’s more lessons, too.  For example, did you know that seasoned gardeners, those who garden for a living, know which plants should be planted next to one another for mutual protection and growing success.    For example, we plant the herbs dill and basil near our tomato plants.  Tomato horn worms do NOT appreciate the fine taste of those herbs.  And the marigolds we plant as a border around our whole garden?  They protect nearly all garden vegetables from various pests.  Peas want their neighbors to be beans, corn, carrots, cucumbers, but certainly NOT near garlic or onions.  Interesting,   Native Americans learned that planting beans in their corn patches would produce better quality of both.  

One thing’s for sure….a healthy garden has a lot of diversity, a lot of plants helping plants.  It comes to mind, then, that diversity seems to be important in all sorts of communities, certainly it is at camp.  Gathering as we do from around the world and our own country, we are the better from our time together.  May many of the hours we spend, where ever that may be, be rich with the variety that strengthens us even as our new young plants work in the camp garden to strengthen one another.  

It’s planting day!  With care and passion, our garden will thrive and give back the very special gifts only a garden can provide.  Close your eyes and see that space clearly.  Your memories will take you there!  

The answers to the matching above??  Here you go!  b, c, I, a, h, c, d, f, j, e.  How did you do??

The EXTRA CREDIT question?  Ask Lorrie when next you see her!  

Sing: Sung to the tune of COME FOLLOW. It’s a round!  Teach your family!

Come follow follow follow follow follow follow me.

Whither shall I follow, follow, follow, whither shall I follow, follow thee?

To the garden, to the garden, to the garden at BC!


Final Word:

“When you increase the number of gardens, you increase the number of heavens, too!”

-Mehmet Murat Ildan


Sing:  Jubilate, jubilate, jubilate, Amen.Jubilate, jubilate, jubilate, Amen.



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