For many outdoor and indoor marijuana growers in our community, each year, soon after they’ve harvested, dried and cured another season of excellent buds, they traditionally throw fun and festive harvest parties.
So what is a harvest party? Simply put, it’s a pot party focused on the harvested buds.
It feels good to share what you grow, to celebrate by getting a houseful of your nearest and dearest high.
But these seasonal get-togethers are more than a great excuse to inhale fresh-cured cannabis, dance, socialize and chill.
When a harvest celebration is sponsored by several growers, you sample a tasty diversity of strains and compare the differences in how each grower flushes, manicures, dries and cures buds.
When I throw a harvest party, I charge an admission price, and guests are expected to play an active role in examining, sampling and rating my buds.
I grow several strains per season, so it’s easy to provide guests a pleasingly diverse tasting menu.
Typically, I’ll break an ounce of each strain into nugs and place them in glass jars labeled very generically, such as Bud A, Bud B, and so on.
Each guest uses a paper ballot to record their ratings. For each bud, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
- Taste: Freshness, not too green, multiple flavors, aftertaste, presence of chems and/or poisons.
- Scent: Any molds/mildew smells? What are the dominant scents? Any other identifying notes?
- Flushing: Easy to light? Burns to white ash? No chem taste?
- Cure: Does the bud feel just the right amount of moist? Resin glands intact?
- Medicinal Effects: For medical users, what medical benefits, if any, does this bud offer?
- High: Judge the intensity, onset time, longevity, potency, recreational aspects of the high.
Finally, guests are asked to write down the strain they like best.
I provide several 30x loupes so attendees can examine the buds before they consume them. And maybe this judging process sounds complicated and time-consuming, but guests truly do enjoy the experience of being bud judges. Even at marijuana harvest parties where a dozen or more bud samples were set out for scrutiny, and everybody was higher than a kite, judges were eager to skillfully complete the rating ballots in great detail.
One obvious problem with rating potency for a steady stream of various buds is that the first couple of strains you inhale hit you the hardest, especially if you didn’t get high for several hours or days before the harvest party.
By the time you’ve inhaled a couple of sticky nugs, it’s difficult to accurately assess the potency of subsequent samples. Then what often happens is that a judge finds a strain that can cut through the baseline high they already have. The bud that’s potent enough to get a very stoned person even more stoned tends to be the strain that judges designate as their favorite.
Check out the below YouTube video from Hashbar TV, who judged a total of 60 different strains at once:
The crowning marijuana moment for harvest parties comes after the ballots are tallied. The winning grower/s bask in the praise of the crowd, enjoying that feeling of pride for a season well-concluded.
At some parties, the grower hosts an impromptu press conference of sorts, where attendees quiz them about the strain and how it was grown. The judges offer feedback valuable to growers wanting to know what consumers think of their buds.
To further spice my parties up, I’ll have growers use some of their buds to make hashish products, such as dry sift and bubble hash, or even extracted concentrates created via CO2 extraction. Yep, a harvest party featuring buds and concentrates is a very stony affair!
Ensuring A Safe & Fun Harvest Party
Realize that many of your guests are likely to ingest more cannabis than they normally would. Talk to them about safe use, especially if they’re thinking of driving home stoned.
Providing vaporizers so people have an alternative to combusted cannabis is a friendly favor you can do for their lungs.
Have a lot of healthy beverages (i.e., not alcohol) on hand, as well as cannabis-free munchies. Gourmet desserts like cheesecake, chocolate mousse and premium ice-cream are typical crowd-pleasers at a pot party.
Food can have a stabilizing effect for stoned-out partygoers. People who feel too stoned can often be brought back down to earth by ingesting food. And if someone is having a bad reaction to the cannabis they’ve been ingesting, black pepper is known to relieve weed-related anxiety.
Check out the below YouTube video from Americann Harvest, who visited California’s Sonoma for a harvest dinner party:
Speaking of tasty treats, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned cannabis edibles or medibles.
It’s because I don’t endorse them for a harvest get-together.
Why, you ask? I’ve seen too many marijuana harvest parties go completely off the rails because it’s way too easy to overconsume medibles and end up higher than you ever wanted to be. Simply put, I just can’t handle the drama that edible cannabis can cause, especially in newbies.
Take a look at this article about using marijuana medibles safely.
One more savvy move to ensure guest safety is to have ride-sharing connections set up ahead of time, so nobody has to drive while intoxicated.
Marijuana Harvest Party = Farm-To-Table Networking
As a grower who has sponsored harvest parties and given away as much as $700 worth of buds and party favors to aid the blowout, a cool bonus is that I’ve often managed to come out ahead financially.
When I had buds that still needed trimming and sorting, I initiated a barter system, using my party guests as harvest workers. They didn’t feel abused by that exchange. On the contrary, they enjoyed getting their fingers sticky and learning the fine art of manicuring cannabis flowers.
Harvest celebrations can be cannabis farm-to-table markets, introducing consumers to growers and vice versa. I’ve seen pounds of bud change hands at harvest parties. Lucky consumers have big smiles plastered on their faces as they purchase discounted, fresh buds direct from the cultivators. They come away with an eclectic selection of weed, and a more personal connection with the marijuana growing process.
As a cannabis grower hosting or attending marijuana harvest parties with other growers, you can make long-term connections that help you set up trades of clones and marijuana seeds. A marijuana harvest party is an efficient networking opportunity and a learning environment filled with comradery.
That’s why I hope you sponsor or attend a marijuana harvest party soon. Whenever fresh buds are ready for consumption, that’s as good a reason as any to have a party!
One day, I hope to throw a marijuana harvest party like this one: