Over the summer we were delighted to help a good friend of ours, Paul Merret, with growing truffles on his allotment. Paul, an award winning Michelin-starred chef and TV presenter, has recorded his first attempts at allotment gardening in his new book ‘Using the Plot: Tales of an Allotment Chef’. This account of self-sufficiency in the 21st century is a great read and beautifully produced. With the section on growing truffles, we think it makes a perfect gift – but then again, we’re truffle mad and so are perhaps a little biased!

June 14, 2015

Helping a Michelin-starred chef and a great gift idea…

Over the summer we were delighted to help a good friend of ours, Paul Merret, with growing truffles on his allotment. Paul, an award winning Michelin-starred chef and TV presenter, has recorded his first attempts at allotment gardening in his new book ‘Using the Plot: Tales of an Allotment Chef’. This account of self-sufficiency in the 21st century is a great read and beautifully produced. With the section on growing truffles, we think it makes a perfect gift – but then again, we’re truffle mad and so are perhaps a little biased!
June 14, 2015

The truffle-dog training school – an update

Since opening the dog school, many hunters have come through our door and our expert trainer has worked with a wide range of breeds. Their abilities, across the board, never cease to amaze. Recently, we have been discussing starting further research on breed specific behavioural characteristics and scenting abilities, when along came the Barbets! The Barbet is an active breed, equally enjoying work and play with a thick shaggy coat over its whole body (“barbe” is the French word for beard). A review of the breed-specific training day can be found here: www.barbet.org.uk/news21.htm
June 14, 2015

Patches of bare earth ignite truffle dreams

Some very exciting news- earlier this autumn we received photos from our welsh plantation showing a very distinct ‘brûlé’. A brûlé is a burnt-looking patch of ground, devoid of vegetation underneath the tree caused by the truffle fungus- these normally take several years to appear and signal imminent onset of fruiting of the truffle. This is particularly exciting as they have appeared on around 70-80% of trees planted last winter! With an average age of 9months (from planting), these results are every exciting indeed,
June 14, 2015

The Italian white truffle, in England?

The beginning of October saw an exciting e-mail arrive at Mycorrhizal Systems HQ. We received a claim that the most expensive white truffle species, Tuber magnatum, had been found by a gardener in Southern England. Descriptions in the e-mail of the truffle and how/where it was found seemed to substantiate the claim. However, after a request for a sample for DNA testing the ‘truffle finder’ disappeared. Did he really find white truffles and disappear to sell his hoard? Or did the alleged find turn out to be something else and the embarrassment prevent further contact?