In 2014, Mushrush identified and confirmed the find of the first black truffle ever, in Dullstroom, South Africa. Since then harvesting sites include Western Cape, Underberg and Kokstad, to name a few. An early finding in June 2016, in Kokstad, is very exciting as from Australian experience, truffles are only found from July. This finding was from a 5 year-old plantation and confirms that with good truffle plantation management we can expect truffles from 5-8 years. Black Truffles (Tuber melanosporum) in South Africa has moved to a completely new level. A 600gm find in 2014 (Dullstroom) increased to over 6kg in 2016.
Truffle tree production is well underway this September/October. We’re focused on soil prep and acorn germination.Cf the Captain Coal’s training is coming along very nicely with scent training happening weekly. He is an Airedale cross, so we reckon he’ll be brilliant at the job, and trust that he’ll point the truffles out before any pigs can get to them.
The trees that produced the first truffle were from a pioneer company, Truffles of Africa, involving Donna Hornby in partnership with an Australian truffle farmer. Neil van Rij was involved with Truffles of Africa (the pioneer company) virtually from the beginning, certifying the trees every year.
This is indeed a KZN (KwaZulu Natal – South Africa) success, with Neil van Rij being the first fungal expert in SA to be involved in certifying truffle trees and in identifying the first truffle found in South Africa.
Since 2011 Mushrush has been producing and managing truffle trees and truffle plantations.
Suitable areas for farming or growing black truffles in South Africa include: Western Cape, KZN Natal Midlands – Underberg, Nottingham Road, Dullstroom/ Machadadorp and Clarens area.
Generally climatic requirements for truffle cultivation in South Africa would be; cold in June and July, rainfall above 600 mm and well drained soils.
Where to buy black truffle trees South Africa? – Mushrush are a leading truffle tree nursery and the first truffle to be found in South Africa were from trees certified by Neil van Rij (Pri. Sci. Nat). – mushroom expert.
We encourage investors and entrepreneurs interested in growing black truffles in South Africa to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have completed inoculation for season 2015 trees. Orders for 2016 season can be placed now.
Mushrush growing model is to supply quality certified truffle trees to truffle tree growers/farmers and the smallholder, along with consulting support.
Our unique and leading advantage is Mushrush does not require any contractual obligations with growers.
Truffle Tree Growing – An industry in the making.
This introduction covers; costs and returns, suitable areas, some plantation design issues as well as the services Mushrush® offers truffle farmers.
A key aspect of successful truffle production is good quality trees. In terms of tree quality, we use DNA tested inoculum to ensure that the farmer is getting trees inoculated with the French black truffle or Tuber melanosporum. Our trees are also certified annually as mycorrhized with Tuber melanosporum (the black truffle) by an independent mycologist. This means that a fungi expert comes and checks the trees to ensure that the truffle spores have germinated and formed a relationship with the tree’s roots. We are therefore confident that you are getting a quality truffle tree.
Our plantation management information is derived from two top level truffle producing farmers who work in association with truffle scientists in their countries. We use the current knowledge emerging from France and Tasmania (Australia) where truffle production is proven and top yields given with these methods. However, we are also working closely with South African soil scientists, who are adapting Australian and French soil nutrient requirements for our local conditions, and local mycologists and plant pathologists to test fungus purity and mycelium development.
In terms of market, the South African market for truffles grows every month and is currently met through imports. Restaurant owners and up-market food outlets (including Woolworths) are all watching our truffle industry growth with interest. In the meanwhile, Mushrush® also have a guarantee from a French truffle dealer that he will buy any truffle produced in South Africa as long as it is below the retail price of truffles in France.
Included in the truffle tree price is 6 months support once trees have been collected. Mycorrhization checks and further support are available and are charged at an hourly rate.