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Truffle: Not a quick buck, but an interesting niche
Truffles are booming: restaurants or hobby cooks who keep their eye on themselves are characterized by the professional handling of truffles for fine dishes. Farmers are a. in view of low milk prices, increasingly looking for income alternatives, especially when the decision to extensify dairy farming has been made. With these two facts, an intersection is not as far away as one might think: truffles are the most expensive foodstuffs and a good source of money, if not "gold", could be hidden here. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
The biggest disadvantage first: the yield may take up to 15 years. And nothing can be left to chance. First of all, a thorough preparation of the soil is required, which should have a comparatively high pH of 7.5 so that truffles can grow at all.
After the application of lime, afforestation takes place - with specially prepared deciduous trees, the roots of which have been inoculated with the spores of the truffle mushroom.
Truffles are fruiting bodies of the underground fungal mycelia and form a symbiosis with trees. Symbiosis means: The two living beings provide each other with nutrients. Since the truffle is a mushroom, it makes sense that the soil must be kept moist. Straw bags are laid out for this purpose, the vegetation between the trees is mowed due to the water competition and a drip irrigation system often has to be installed.
The Swiss Agricultural Information Service (LID) reports that despite this complex process, there is increasing interest in truffle courses in Switzerland, in which farmers and hobby gardeners learn to grow the valuable tubers. For many, however, it remains more of an experiment or a hobby, since the risks and the time periods until the first return are quite high. It could also happen that with increasing interest in the niche, the market will be saturated relatively soon. Truffles as bulk goods - the attraction of the expensive would probably have evaporated quickly. (Friederike Heidenhof, aid)