Thanks to its unmistakable organoleptic properties, the truffle has been able to amaze and fascinate the culinary culture of almost all the inhabited geographical areas on our planet. But it is in Italy that it has found the origin of its widespread use in cooking, as well as its first name.
The most suitable location for the truffles cultivation therefore also lies in the Bel Paese.
The truffle is a mushroom that grows spontaneously underground, is it really possible to cultivate it?
Yes, it is possible to cultivate truffles and contrary to what one might think, it is not a feat dictated by luck. Thanks to modern agricultural techniques and the experience of the growers, it is possible to considerably increase the guarantees of production.
Truffle growing is certainly one of the most difficult cultivations and is a long term investment (the first truffles can even appear only after several years), but it is an enterprise that can give great satisfaction.
Starting a truffle cultivation is a task that can reserve some evident difficulties, from the search of the land, the choice of the plants which start a successful cultivation, to the increase the quantity of production. It is of outmost importance to evaluate each element with due attention.
First of all it is necessary to make a preliminary analysis for the choice of the land; it is necessary to prefer the areas adjacent to woods or land where you can find truffles growth spontaneously. This is because the land where the truffle has already found a fertile environment for its development naturally possesses the characteristics favorable to its cultivation.
Moreover, each type of truffle prefers a certain type of soil and develops a symbiosis only with certain plants. This is why it is important to carry out the appropriate studies according to the production objectives. After the positive outcome of the soil analysis, which identifies the composition of the soil, the soil will be tilled, ultimately eliminating the plants present without damaging the ecosystem.
The truffles will form on appropriate symbiotic trees, which will have to be chosen according to the type of soil and the type of truffle that one desires to grow. The symbiotic plants, in fact, are the most important element for a correct development of truffles.
The prized white truffle, for example, lives in symbiosis with plants such as oaks, linden, poplars or willows and finds a humid and ventilated environment favorable. The selected plants must have mycorrhiza added beforehand and carefully inserted into the soil. In case you want to obtain good results with fine white truffle, it would be necessary to have a thicker planting system than in a black truffle farm.
The density of the cultivation system, the techniques that need to be used and the period of planting are all important choices that need to be made. All these factors have a significant influence on the formations of pianelli and the quality of production. Pianelli are spots with no vegetation around the symbiont plant. This phenomenon is very typical for many species of truffle, it comes from the toxic substances that are produced by the fungus. Depending on the symbiont plants and the care of the truffle-grower, six to seven year can pass until these pianelli are formed.
There are different ways of thinking regarding the planting techniques and the consequent cultivation care. Some truffle-growers prefer to plough the soil using mechanical means, while others use the hole system to avoid compacting the soil. The choice of the planting period will be influenced both by the of truffle and the planting technique.
Truffle growing is a very complex type of cultivation and requires the expert hand of the truffle farmer. Each choice can greatly influence the quantity of production, as well as anticipate or delay the formation of pianelli.
Preliminary studies on the ground and the quality of the symbiont plants alone are not enough to start a successful truffle-growing business. It requires the attention of an expert who, year after year, can make his contribution by taking care and fertilizing the soil correctly. Moreover it is good to remember that for the search of truffle it is obligatory to have a well-trained dog, that locates the truffles. Together with the truffle-grower, the two represent the key for a good harvesting season.