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When to harvest opium poppies...

Druidus

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
584
When should I harvest opium poppies if I don't know when the petals fell? Is there anything else on the plant that changes when it's time for harvest?

Do the pods grow any bigger after the petals fall, or is that it? Most of my pods are very small, and I don't think they'll give much opium, but I don't know. Maybe small ones are normal, and they give a normal amount of opium.

Please, help me with this harvest... I really want to see what smoking opium really feels like.
 

Druidus

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
584
Also, what if one petal just refuses to fall? I've got three big sized pods that have one petal left, and it hasn't fallen on either of them for three days now. Should I wait until it falls before counting days until harvest?

And I've heard that you should wait a week to two weeks for the harvest. How do you know how many days to count? 7? 10? 12? 14?

And do they produce more or less opium if it's cold? Or is it not a factor? Because these poppies are growing outdoors, and the temperature is 4-10 degrees Celsius. Usually around 6-7, though.

Which is better for harvesting, vertical slashes, one big horizontal slash, or several smaller horizontal slashes at different parts of the pod?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

lyserg

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Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
1,733
Location
New York
I dont know the exact amount of days since it varies a lot but usually the pod starts to milk a little bit and if you slice it the opium starts oozing out. Thatd a good indication that its ripe. If theres only one petal left i dont think it would be a big deal to take them out. Hopefully other people will reply though since im not 100% positive.
 

Druidus

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
584
Thanks.

How would I dry the pods after harvest if I want to make tea with them? What's the quickest way with the least damage to the alkaloid content.
 

lyserg

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May 15, 2005
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Location
New York
The alkaloid content will only be damaged when heated at very high temperatures. After harvesting your poppy pods air-dry them. Two common methods used are wrapping the stems together in a bundle and hanging the poppy bundles perpendicular to avoid curved stems. A note of caution: the poppy pods release thousands of seeds while drying so it is wise to place a container under the bundles. Poppy pods can also be dried upright in buckets. You can also use a fan to speed up the process. Harvest the poppy pods once they turn a buff gray. The pods will shrivel if picked before they reach maturity.
 

phr

Ex-Bluelighter
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
36,750
Location
St. Charles, IL
How would you go about preparing the harvested raw opium for smoking? I think I've read somewhere that it just has to be boiled... But I'm not sure, and I'm a bit lazy/high to search it out right now.

Sorry, and thanks in advance
 

rachamim

Bluelighter
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
7,772
Location
Nasipit, Mindanao, Philippines
It is simple. Fropm 5 days to two weeks after the last petal falls off of a pod, the crown atop the pod will rise erect. The outside of the pod will change color and texture as well. From a soft and living pod it will become scale and a bit harder to the touch. The key though is the crown. They must be fully erect. Also, all pods mature at a different rate so that if you have a fieled or even a few plants, they won't be ready at the same time. Good luck.
 

rachamim

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Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
7,772
Location
Nasipit, Mindanao, Philippines
In harvesting the dead plants, after they have been lanced at least two good times for opium [3 is much better], cut the stem 5 inches below the pod. Take all the pods to the side of the field. Then go back with shovel and hoe and dig out all the plants by hand making sure to get as much root as possible as you do not want to inadvertantly leave proof of what most likely is a felon in your part of the world.

Then, take the pods back to a safe adress and run ;laundry line across the room. Just like drying canabis, hang the pods upside down by clothes pin with a tarp or sheet underneath all pods to cath seeds and vegetative matter. At room tewmp it will take a good two and a half weeks to dry properly but anything worth having requires a bit of patience [besides you should have all that opium to enjoy].

Once dry and brittle to the touch, use a commercial grade coffee grinder , after first removing seeds and setting aside, and grind the pods and 5 inches of straw to a fine powdered consistency. Then you can either use commercial empty tea bags made for this purpose [Japanese and Chinese shops are great for this, as are mail order houses]. Or you can use squares of cheesecloth, filled half way to 3/4 with the grinded material. sewn very tight and seep for a long time in very , very warm water. Top off with lemon and have fun.
 
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