nature’s best kept secret
Truffles can be found on the menus of top restaurants across the world. They can be found all over the news headlines when a new all time high price is reached. They can be found in myth and folklore, especially if it’s got a bit of secrecy and wonderment in the mix, and they can be found here in Britain.
The truffle had so convincingly fallen from our culture that many people, on hearing a snippet of news of a wild truffle find, could not decide whether or not the information was correct. You really cannot blame them when so much secrecy still exists and I have had several emails starting with ‘…is it true…’. The answer is quite simply ‘yes.’
In 2010 Paul and Marion planted their own 650 tree truffle orchard. Marion chose to try and grow Tuber aestivum, the summer truffle, because it was the most abundant indigenous truffle she found during her extensive work across the length and breadth of England. Working with Mother Nature rather than against her seemed like a good idea when cultivation techniques were still in their early stages in England.
Marion also chose a variety a host trees rather than create an orchard of just a single host tree variety. Again the thoughts were to mimic a natural woodland situation even if the trees did have to be planted in straight rows for ease of maintenance. Hard work in the form of care and nurturing followed for six years.
Success; The first truffles are found.
3rd August 2016. There was a stiff wind blowing straight up from the orchard to our house. I had no idea there was a ripe truffle waiting for us, but of course Mufti did. I thought her pestering behaviour was just an extra walk request and set off to appease her. She ran straight down one of the tree rows, made a final adjustment into an adjoining row and plopped down on the ground in her well know indication style. After running back to the house to get Paul and a camera, celebrations, whoops of delight and hundreds of photos followed.
Mufti confirmed our success in the only style she knows and found a second truffle a few trees away. Since then more truffles have been found and Marion has strong hopes that this Somerset orchard will prove to be a highly productive one.
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