IT is becoming more difficult to operate financially viable farms in this region.
As a result, many of us are looking for different ways to generate an income from our farms.
Some of us have thought about truffles as they provide the opportunity for a reasonable return from relatively small farms.
If you are like many of us, interested in finding out more about truffle farming – the facts, but are not sure where to start – or if you just haven’t got around to it, there is a workshop in Cobargo on Saturday, September 22.
Truffles have the potential to be grown in areas of the Eurobodalla and Bega shires. They prefer free draining, poor quality, alkaline soil (usually through the addition of lime); and hot summer temperatures and cold winter temperatures.
There are many articles talking about prices of $3,000 a kilo, but prices of $1,500 a kilo are closer to current returns.
Many of the articles talk of yields of 60kg to the hectare, but again, that seems an overestimation based on Australian experience.
The Cobargo workshop next Saturday will be conducted by Colin Carter, Nathan Carter and Peter Brown.
Colin Carter was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute Fellowship sponsored by the Victorian Government to travel to Spain, Italy and France to study ways to improve methods of truffle culture, propagation and the potential for developing a quality system for inoculation nurseries.
Nathan Carter meanwhile is an agronomist specialising in truffles. He has undertaken extensive research on quality assurance within the truffle industry.
Peter Brown is a soil scientist who provides specialist soil analysis and recommendations for growing Truffles.
The workshop will cover:
o An introduction to the basics of mycorrhizas and truffle history.
o Truffle varieties, their harvest and growth properties.
o Developing a truffiere (truffle orchard), soil and climate requirements, preparation
o Truffle mycorrhiza and the effects of antagonistic fungi.
o Soil testing - the importance of it, interpreting the soil test report and understanding the recommendations
o Harvesting and local and international marketing of truffles
The cost is $50 and all money raised after costs will be donated to Beyond Blue.
Prior registration is essential as spaces are limited so contact Fiona Kotvojs and Alan Burdon on 6493 6080, or email@example.com or visit firstname.lastname@example.org