News and Events
There are still a few videos to finish of the workshops and the field trip, but Members will find the Conference presentations, in PDF and on Video on the 2015 Conference Media page, on your Members area menu.
Sonja van Wegen from MEA (Measurement Engineering Australia) an Adelaide based company who build and implement soil moisture and environmental monitoring equipment and software, was an invited speaker at our 2015 Conference. The company builds a cost effective soil moisture monitoring system that uses an on farm measurement system called Plexus designed to be low maintenance and fully solar powered, it uses field stations that soil sensors talk to by radio that all work collaboratively. There is an internet enabled (mobile data chip) Hub that transmits to their website called Green Brain where in a secure personal area you can see the measurements for your paddock at any time. They installed a system at Wayne Haslam’s Blue Frog truffiére for demonstration on our Sunday field trip, and have generously left it installed (with the addition of a soil temperature monitor) for growers to see it in operation over a full season. She has provided details for members to also watch the progress of the trial.
“Would you please pass on to all growers/members the login details for the Plexus trial soil moisture monitoring system installed at Wayne’s truffiére. To access the soil moisture data people need to go to: www.greenbrain.net.au The user name is: firstname.lastname@example.org The password is: Truffles
If they tick the remember me box, they won’t need to log in next time they return to the Green Brain website. Please also let everyone know that I am more than happy to answer any questions relating to the software and also what the data is showing. The software has quite a few features to explore and I know that initially the data can be a bit hard to get your head around. There is some really interesting things to see already in the 3 weeks of existing data.”
Contact Sonia by email: email@example.com if you’d like more information.
After the excitement of having a herd of truffle growers (is that the collective noun? A pride? A mob?) descend on the Kangaroos Football Club for our annual conference, the Roos club has returned to a normal routine of poker machine jangles and big-screen cage fighting women.
Friday 13th was lucky, and the workshops all were voted as very helpful and set the tone for the following weekend. Saturday morning, the official opening was by the Member for Monaro, Mr. John Barilaro and the Mayor of Queanbeyan Cr. Tim Overall, (thank you both) and the programme (which it’s still online here ) brought out some honest discussion of the state of the commercial market. There was a terrific dinner Saturday night at the Pialligo Estate Farm House restaurant where chef Jan Gundlach used our supplied imported white and frozen black truffle to great effect and applause. Sunday’s field trip to Sutton rotated a group through site planning, pest and diseases identification, irrigation monitoring, soil preparation and pruning, with fencing and equipment suppliers in attendance. We’ll have a full coverage of the event on the Members website.
By now all paid up members will have the September update. It is available on the Members’ website if you’ve foolishly deleted it, not realising it contains gems of information, wit (not much) and wisdom.
Please tell me (Fred Harden) if you haven’t yet received it and I’ll work out why.
The European season for Tuber Borchii is from January to April, a much later start than the season for the black melanosporum. If that applies here in our Southern climate, the inverted seasonal dates should be July to October. Growers who have found signs of activity in their bianchetto truffières have so far been at the end of the black truffle harvest, so the expectation is that we will start getting reports around now.
And sure enough, Peter Stahle has followed up his first tentative sighting with the first day of hunting on Saturday 15 August. With the help of Sue (and Darren) Brimacombe and their Australian Shepherd truffle dogs Spice and Isadora , found almost a kilo of Borchii in Peter’s Seymour, Victoria truffière. The trees are of different ages but almost all trees had some activity and the four year old ones produced a number of good sized (160g+) truffles.
This is exciting news for Australian Truffle Growers, a tribute to our nurseries, and will change the culinary marketplace as more growers start commercial production. Well done to the Stahle’s.
Any other ‘bianchetto’ growers with news, let us know.
Peter was on the ABC Radio National Blueprint for living program on Saturday morning recorded on the previous day when he was still anxious. Have a listen. They seemed more excited about Jose, Peter’s in-training truffle pug.
Any new truffle book is an important event. Especially when it comes from someone who is a friend of the ATGA family.
Marcos Morcillo was a guest and spoke at our Conference in Launceston last year. Marcos and his partners Monica Sanchez and Xavier Vilanova have created a large graphic handbook that aims to be a ‘World’ guide to truffle growing. Marcos works in Spain and has consulted in South Africa and South America, and visited a number of truffières in Australia, and has brought those experiences to this book. It is an update of the earlier submission text they produced for the Spanish Government so it is authoritative for the Spanish experience. We’re still working through how relevant it is to Australian growers but it is cutting edge information that will change how we think of planting here. Here’s Marcos’s promotional blurb.
“Truffle Farming Today, a Comprehensive World Guide, is more than just a manual of the theory and practice of truffle farming. It is intended as a fully up-to-date compendium – as it goes to press (June 2015) – of experiences in this field from all over the world, covering everything from the optimum conditions for setting up, cultivating and managing plantations to the conclusions to be drawn from the most recently published scientific papers.
Unlike other truffle farming manuals, Truffle Farming Today, a Comprehensive World Guide, looks not only at the black truffle, but also at the cultivation and ecology of other truffle varieties around the world. The book has 352 pages, with 237 pictures plus 61 graphs and charts.”
Growers who have been following Marcos’s English language Blog at trufflefarming.wordpress.com/ and his website at www.micofora.com will see the dialogue that lead to the publication . You can purchase online with a credit card, but as it’s a heavy book, 1.4 kg, the postage is expensive.
When we bought it in July 2015 our cost, with the then AU$ to Euro conversion was $79 inc postage , it took just over a week to arrive.
Marcos also has announced he is running two five day Truffle tours in Spain in mid-December and late January. See his website for more details.
Australian Launch of the latest practical growers guide at Truffle Melbourne this weekend, 11 July
We all read both Ian Hall’s and Gareth Renowden’s books when they were released some years ago. At the Truffle Melbourne Growers’ Seminar this Saturday 11 July, Nigel Wood announced “we’ll launch “Truffle Farming Today: a Comprehensive World Guide” by Marcos Morcillo – we just unpacked 10 airfreighted copies of the book, and it is indeed comprehensive and contemporary. Both Marcos and Christine Fischer will participate in the seminar by Skype from Spain, joining Australian experts including noted food writer Rita Erlich and climate change Professor Snow Barlow, to share knowledge and strategies about not only growing, but also selling your truffle!”
In this issue there’s a report on the Hartley Grading workshop, a look at a new Truffle Growing book, updates on preparation for the 2015 AGM and Conference in Queanbeyan, and other truffle growing news. Lots of pictures a good quick read we reckon. Members Only, login to the Members website to view.
- How hot?
- 2017 ATGA Members Pests and Diseases Roadshow
- June Newsletter online
- NSW ATGA Members Grading workshop
- Great Southern Truffles Services for 2017
- Plant Health Australia Photo Competition
- Shock for importer of Tuber magnatum into Western Australia.
- Conference highlights – a captain’s pick
- RIRDC Truffle Pest & Disease Newsletter #2
- Farm Biosecurity newsletter September 2016