A field of pale pink poppy flowers with trees and a mountain range in the distance. Photo: kummeleon / iStock.

Poppies have been grown here since 1975 and this crop was the reason irrigation was installed on Brickendon.

The crop is strictly controlled as illegal use of poppy capsules can cause death but the alkaloid from the capsule is legally used to make narcotics for pain relief. It is a risky crop to grow, susceptible to disease and waterlogging, but can be very profitable if successful. Poppy crops are evident in the landscape when the pale pink flower appears in mid-summer. The crop is left to dry off and then the capsule and top part of the stem are harvested. Poppy seeds are a by-product and can be used in some foods, or for oil extraction.

Vintage woodcut style engraving of poppy bud. Source: ilbusca / iStock).
Vintage woodcut style engraving of poppy bud. (Source: ilbusca / iStock)