Old March 6, 2018, 12:44 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Priya thought about Isabelle's answer for a while and answer with a smile. "The seaweed and fishes we sell are of premium quality, and so we have to be careful with the proper handling and fertilizing. What you have learnt so far is the most basic. It will take a more experience to learn about improving the quality of the crops. Furthermore, we have are also farming oysters and getting their pearls. That reminds me, you should look for Jas."

She dived back into the sea and began the long swim back. Along the way, she spoke again, this time about what Isabelle could help out with. "Having a land base home would be good for tanning the hide, and you could really help in selling and buying anything we need... Although Aidy is also doing it. Hmmm...."

She waited for Isabelle to query or speak as she swam. If there was nothing else, when the reached the farm, Jas was there waiting with an opened oyster in his hand.
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Old March 7, 2018, 05:12 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Isabelle nodded to show her understanding that she would need more training to learn how to improve the quality of the produce. She guessed it was the same as land based farming where farmers tried to produce bigger pumpkins or cow with better meat quality.

When they returned to the farm, she thanked Priya for teaching her and went over to Jas. "Serale Jas. I guess I will be learning all about oysters from you?"
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Old March 8, 2018, 11:31 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Jas was looking very excited when Isabelle came to him, but he tried to played it cool, causing him to drop the oyster he was holding. "Yes... oops... Erm..." He said retrieving the slowly falling shell. "Yes... Follow me..."

He swam a distance to shallower waters. There was a field of oysters around. "We have already began the cultivation, so it becomes easier in the future. You see, oysters start out as larvae, so small that they are invisible to the naked eye. In about a year, they can grow to 1 – 1-1/2 inches. They usually reach market size within 18 months to 2 eras time. Sometime in mid summer, for a period of two to three cycles, oysters spawn. The water around them can acquire a milky quality. All of their energies during this time are utilized for reproduction.

We collect the baby oysters as they need to be handled often, tumbled against one another. The net bags that contain them are shaken regularly. This causes the baby oysters to rub against each other’s shells. The fragile outside edges of the shells is new shell growth. This delicate fringe breaks off during this tumbling process and causes each oyster to grow thicker rather than longer, eventually forming an oyster with a deeper “cup.” Unattended oysters tend to grow longer and flatter, looking more like an elongated potato chip. Towards mid winter, they oysters stop growing and we set them all here... Of course, we will collect some of the older mature oysters first before spreading the new babies. Go me so far?"
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Old March 9, 2018, 12:37 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Isabelle stared at the field of oyster while she listened through the entire explanation. She heard that to cultivate pearls, a person must open an oyster and place something inside. There must be thousands here and she cannot imagine that as years goes by, thousand more will be born.

"With so many here, do you cultivate everything for pearl? How do we actually do it? It will take a lot of time, would it not?" She asked.
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Old March 9, 2018, 02:52 PM   #50 (permalink)
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"It will be easier to show you." Jas swam to the workshop where several good size oysters were. "In nature, something foreign, like a speck of sand entering the oyster, may slowly form into pearl. Those natural pearls are sort after, but the shape and size might not always be good. Kinda chancy."

"In this workshop, we can control. Here, I will show you." Jas gently pry open one of the oysters, no more than an inch.. Then he took a needle thin tweezer in one hand, and inserted a tiny circular stone within. When he released the grip on the oyster, it closed up. "There we go. Done. Do remember, opening the oyster more than a inch will cause the oyster to reject the stone we place within."

He took the oyster and swam towards another direction. There was a smaller field of oyster here. "We place the 'treated' oyster here. There are more to do to improve the pearl quality, but for now, it would be good enough for you. Care for dinner?"
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Old March 11, 2018, 12:33 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Isabelle watched closely how it was done and picked up one of the oysters. She tried pulling the shell open a little, not more than the width of her pinky. She took the tweezer to pick up a grain of sand. It was not as easy as it looked. The oyster kept wanting to close up, the tweezer was hard to control. If she was successful, she inserted the sand bead into the oyster and quickly withdraw the tweezer and closed the shell.

Following Jas, she saw a cluster of oysters. She guessed these were for pearl cultivating, the other side was for food.

“Dinner sounds good. Are we eating oysters?“ Isabelle asked.
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Old March 11, 2018, 01:33 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Jas laughed at the query. "If you like, we can open a few. I can pick a few tasty looking one."

Dinner for the darkening was a fun affair. Elen and Priya were re-enacting a comedy scene from a famous comedy opera. The act caused Jas to choke on the oyster he was eating. Adiy had to pat hard on Jas back, forcing the oyster out. The laughter in the place began louder after the oyster tried to swim away.

At the end of the dinner, Elen and Priya asked Isabelle to stay behind. Priya began.
"Well, I heard what you have learnt so far, and heard you are a fast learner. That's about all we could teach you within these short brightenings. You would be a good helper for us, and like you offered before, you could bring some hide and cure them at your place. Would you like to help us, to grow this little family?"

"If you are asking for pay, we can't really offer much." Elen informed before Isabelle can speak. There were others mers they had helped to teach, but most of them just took the knowledge, and swam away without returning. "Like the others, we can give a small percentage of whatever sales you help us plus every brightening you stay to help us with our tasks." The amount given was not really a lot, but the experience gained helping around the farm would help Isabelle future farms (if she so desired), a long way.
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Old March 12, 2018, 05:27 AM   #53 (permalink)
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Isabelle listened to what the pair had to say, knowing her training time was over with them. The only way she could learn more, was to work with this sea farm. It was her original idea to learn a little about underwater farming through some experimentation. She did not expect to find one so established and one owned by a nice couple. She pondered on what her decision would be for quite some time.

“To be honest, I was thinking of setting a farm of my own, but after swimming around, I think a good place for an underwater farm is not going to be easy to find. Somewhere near to town, but without ships going over it. In my days here, I also find that it was constant hard work. It is not what books says, plant, sit back and wait for the harvest.” She informed her hosts.

She took a deep breath and exclaimed brightly. “I will accept your suggestion, Elen, Priya. I am sure to be a great help, curing the hides and selling anything to Medonia when needed. I can also buy anything the farm needs. A cut of the profit of sales will be good. As for payment for my work here, forget about it. Use the money to reinvest into the farm. I need to warn in advance. The amount of days I could help here is fairly limited. Maybe a few days a cycle, or less. My mother will want me to around.“

She watched the two carefully, hoping for good news.
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Old March 12, 2018, 08:00 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Elen and Priya stared at each other quietly after Isabelle finished her little speech. The silence might begin to feel rather overwhelming to Isabelle when the pair laughed at the same time. Elen rubbed a drop of tear from his eyes and stared at the new mermaid with a grin. ”What you say, reminds me of a few other Mers. Like Adiy, he initially wanted to appear only for 5 brightenings per month, dropping orders, helping us sell things to the land folks. Over the eras, he decided to appear a few brightening every cycle, to help with the planting, to care for the fishes and more. Like you have suggested, all he wanted was a share of the sales he made. He had admitted it’s not much, but the farm is a good place to be, away from the corrupted way of land-based commerce.”

”If we are agreeable, go and have a good rest. I think your mother would miss you by now.” Priya spoke with her eyes closed. It was obvious she was trying to control her laughter.
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Old March 12, 2018, 11:25 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Isabelle was happy with what she heard.

"That will be great!" She exclaimed. "I will do my best to aid the farm in whatever way possible!"
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Old March 21, 2018, 02:38 AM   #56 (permalink)
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OOC;
2 Experience in Farming/Agriculture Underwater Awarded to Isabelle
Part-time job with the farm Approved.

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