the great pumpkin war

With grandkids, its all different. Things change over time and if you’re lucky, life comes full circle. A regular conversation with my oldest son, Joel, usually entails the subject of vegetable gardening: what’s happening in each of our plots.

In the Spring, we were talking about growing pumpkins and when we were about to wrap-up, I challenged him to a pumpkin growing contest. So when I heard I would be at the mouth of the Mississippi River, fishing the marshes of Myrtle Grove, I conjured a plan to bring home the fertilizer that hopefully will catapult me over the top of my son, the beginner’s, great pumpkin. After all, my reputation as a grampa to his kids is on the line. Losing the war is not an option.

We were slightly successful with our fishing thanks to the guidance and know-how of Paul and Stan Gelpi, who have fished these waters all of their nearly fifty years.


Doug Gelpi with one of the four redfish.



My son-in-law Keegan Hicks, a native California Marlin angler, with a big red.


Our catch du jour. We killed ’em.



Native Americans had it right when they used fish as fertilizer. I experimented with adding fish to holes to boost growth in trees and in my vegetable garden early on in my career. It is amazing to see the results. Everybody aught to try this. The fish starts to decompose and the ammonia vapors rise up through the soil into the root space of the seedlings above.

Just dig a hole at least a couple of feet deep (in this case with so much fish, I went down thirty inches)and put a gallon of two of guts and heads. Then stand back, because you might get run over by foliage.

I dug two holes, filled them with the fish stuff, and got my seed ordered-up. I’ll plant as soon as they arrive.

Let the games begin!


2 thoughts on “the great pumpkin war

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