In February 2019 we visited a truffle farm near Bordeaux. After we returned home, we thought about growing truffles ourselves, and we discovered Garland Truffles of Hillsborough, NC. The founder, Frederick Garland, has developed an ingenious method for this, but it has never been tested at a latitude (and climate) as far north as ours.
This was a challenge we could not refuse.
In September 2019 we planted 72 Garland hazelnut trees that had been inoculated with Tuber uncinatum, the Burgundy truffle fungus. The trees did well over the winter and into the spring, so we planted another 72 plants in May 2020. These did well also – every plant survived – so we will plant another 144 inoculated trees in the spring of 2021. All these 288 trees are from the same Garland 2019 generation.
It is said to take somewhere between 5 and 10 years for a nurse tree to produce truffles; but when they do, they each produce about a quarter pound each. The same time frame is true for the filberts that the trees produce. Our hazelnuts will all have had five full summers in the sun, in Hillsborough and La Porte, by Fall 2023.
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