Monday, May 05, 2014

US Hwy 70: Birdsong Pearl Farm

From my camper window, I saw these things in the water and wondered what they were. So, I asked!

It turns out I'm camping next to the only freshwater pearl-culturing farm in North America. There's a big room with videos and displays that's usually reserved for tours, but I was given a private viewing!

The things I saw in the water are what they hang the mollusk nets from for 3-5 years while the clever little things make pearls. Depending on the shape of the "seed" that's put into the shell, all different shape pearls are formed. Since the round pearl market is pretty well dominated by Asian farms, this operation specializes in other shapes. They are well known for their quality and variety.

By the time I'd looked at and read every display, I knew more than I ever imagined I would about pearls and how to farm them. Even though she was pretty sure I wasn't in the market for pearls, the nice lady gave me a full showing of finished jewelry. Some of it was very nice!

Camping next to a pearl farm... Who'd have thunk it?... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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