Our Truffle Tree :-)

It's Matt's birthday coming up and his brother and girlfriend bought him (and me too) an English Oak Tree inoculated with Truffle. What a cool gift!

For those of you who don't know what a truffle is, they are a fungus that grow underground around the roots of trees. They are edible and extremely aromatic, if you've never had tried it, the closest thing to the truffle flavour is a porcini mushroom, they are really pungent and earthy tasting.
They are definitely an acquired taste, and are a delicacy going for around the $2000 a kilo mark, but you only need a couple of grams per meal as the flavour is quite intense!

So needless to say, having our own tree is quite an exciting prospect, I will be researching as much as I can to make sure that we care for it properly and hopefully can cultivate some of our own home-grown truffles in the next few years- it can take up to 5 years to have any edible truffles, if your lucky!!

I have already learnt that truffles (which are not indigenous to Australia but are from European climates), might struggle to grow in our sweltering summer climate. All the places that produce truffles in Australia are areas that have cooler summers and winters then we get where we are living. This means that I will have to find a place to plant it where it will be protected from the scorching summer heat, even perhaps bringing it indoors for the hotter summer months.

I also read that the soil needs a pH level of 8 (which I can easily sort out with our local nursery), and that it needs good drainage, which means I'll be investing in a good pot for it to live in. Luckily the tree can live in a pot for another few years and will still bear fruit before planting in soil, which works perfectly for us living in a townhouse because planting an oak tree (that can reach up to 20m in height) isn't an option. But we do have plans to move into a house with a decent yard in the future so we will be able to bring it with us and plant it then!

Also, another thought is doing a truffle-hunt in the nearby Southern Highlands or Canberra where they have Truffle farms. As the truffle season is around July, I'll have to wait until next year-but it's definitely on my to-do list! That'll really teach me a lot about how to care for and find truffles when my tree is ready :-)

I'm really excited about having this new venture, I also planted tomato and lettuce seeds over the weekend and have seen some sprouts forming. In a month I'll transplant them into bigger pots, so hopefully come mid-summer I'll have some established plants happening-maybe some fruit if I'm lucky. I've also got some Nasturtiums for some edible pretty flowers, and my organic herbs are loving their spot in my yard.

Not quite sure if these sprouts are lettuce or tomato.. Only time will tell!

I'll keep you all updated on how I'm going- can't wait to share recipes using my own home grown ingredients!!

If you'd like to learn more about truffles go to;


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