Each truffle season I wonder if it will surpass the previous truffle season and I am never disappointed. In the 2019 season Indi found five new producers:
- 1 x Bay of Plenty
- 2 x Hawkes Bay
- 2 x Waikato
The excitement of the new producers is priceless after all the hard work of liming, planting and annually pruning their various trees, whilst patiently playing the long waiting game for their first truffle to arrive. I am thrilled to be a part of this process.
When we arrive to survey trees, we never know what the day will bring. For some this season they have been waiting a long time for their first truffles to appear, and their reaction can be from disbelief moving onto elation, and ultimately a celebration with wine and eating the truffle in a multitude of ways.
Some new producers had their first single truffle located this season whilst others had a couple of trees producing their first truffles. It is so exciting to find ‘first’ truffles and doesn’t matter how many are located, it is fabulous to be part of finding their first truffles and look forward to locating more for them next season.
With the number of producers increasing in the North Island, we can only guesstimate that we have located in excess of 30 kg of truffles this season. The exact weight of truffles located is unknown and can only be estimated as many were marked to remain in the ground to be dug up at a later date. On visiting one truffiere, and then returning a few weeks later, they mentioned that one of the truffles that had been marked and eventually extracted, when weighted was just under a Kg! Wow…unfortunately no photo available, but nice to know.
We completed our first night search this season. Tigga who is normally easily distracted by birds, and other creatures, was called upon to complete a search after dark. All harnessed up and working under torch and headlights we wandered to the truffiere for the search. Tigga was amazing. In the torch and headlights we could see some rabbits and other night creatures, but Tigga had her head down and was searching every tree just like her mentor Indi. Was thrilling to watch her work so consistently as trained…our goal during the off season is to get her up and running during the day the same way she works in the dark.