In early November 08 we started to collate results from our Welsh plantation, where we are seeing excellent brûlé development (burnt areas around the tree base caused by the truffle growth) just 9 – 12 months after planting. We recorded data from 77 trees and only seven were not yet showing signs of brûlé development. This is really good news as we were not expecting such good development for at least two more years. We are now planning a full vegetation survey across the site as well as biological soil measurements to see what is happening below ground.
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!
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