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.
Pearly Blog / pearl harvesting operation
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"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.