As I continue my pursuit of analogies, lets discuss pearls and pecans. I have explained how pearls are like wine (the truly great ones stand the test of time). Cultured pearls are like grapes, dependent on many environmental factors, experiencing both good and bad years, high and low years and costing a lot of money to get started! Let's also discuss pearls and pecans.
As a Georgia girl, I cannot seem to get away from pecans! I was born and raised in a pecan field. I would spend Saturdays collecting pecans in my yard while my mamma yelled at the Georgia Bulldogs on the t.v. I had no interest in football (at the time) so I was happy to collect my pecans, which we eventually took to sell at a large wholesaler. I was equally happy with the money I received for my labor! I now live in a neighborhood which was once a pecan field and my walkway is lined with pecan bits which the squirrels eat and drop all over my yard.
Well, what happens with pecans in Georgia? I have a friend whose family runs a full-fledged pecan farm. They are a big business that tends the trees and grows massive amounts of pecans. I also know people with an acre or two of trees. They grow small yields of pecans and either sell them on a small scale (at farmers markets and such) or they simply sell their pecans to the larger operations. I also have a sweet friend called the Pecan Princess. She and her family do not grow their own pecans but they buy them from farmers and dress them up. Spiced pecans, candied peans, pecan pralines, pecan meltaways and other delicious goodness. Yum, yum! Everytime I see my friend the Pecan Princess I walk away with some delicious pecan goodness!
There are so many different levels of pecans in Georgia that it makes me think of pearls. When I travel the world to source pearls for The Pearl Girls jewelry, I meet with the small time farmers, the large companies, and the suppliers who do not do the farming but who buy pearls and dress them into some beautiful jewelry. Pearls are like pecans in the sense that the business is vast and varied. There are many different roles that people play in the cultured pearl business. And the involvement ranges from the big time farms to the mom and pop pearl farms.