Pearly Blog / Black pearls

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Exporting tahitian pearls.

The desire to farm Tahitian pearls begins with a dream, which then transforms into reality.  This reality is made up first of heavy investment, then strenuous work, then more investment, then more work and so on until the harvest of those first pearls.  This could be four or more years after setting out in the first place. 


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Octopus Versus Rat

We finished up our mid-day meal and like usual, I put a kettle of hot water on the stove for tea and coffee.  On the farm in the Tuamotus, it rarely gets hotter or colder than 85° year-round.  That’s the temperature of the lagoon water, which keeps things incredibly constant.  A hot beverage was more about prolonging our meal than anything else.  Like any kind of farming, our work was almost sure to be physically demanding.  As soon as lunch was over we would be back at it until the end of the day.


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The Pearl (part two)

The following Sunday I made my way across the 5 kilometers of lagoon that separated our farms.  He invited me to eat with him which I gladly accepted.  After I cleaned my plate of stewed chicken, peas and white rice with a piece of baguette, he asked me with a half smile if I wanted to see the pearls.  He knew I was more than a little eager to see them and he seemed to be enjoying taking his sweet time.  Of the 20 oysters second-grafted, 14 of them had produced pearls. 

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The Pearl (part one)

"Are you sure?”  This seemed crazy to me.  I searched Julien’s green eyes for any sign of him kidding around.  His sun blackened face was typically animated by a faint mischievous smile, infused with good nature but sometimes you wondered.  Julien was a Paumotu (person of the Tuamotu Archipelago) and one of the tiny handful of farmers who had started farming Tahitian pearls around the same time as our farm, circa 1990.


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