Brief characteristics of the mushroom, features of its growth
Truffle is a marsupial mushroom. It has a tuberous fruiting body, it is also fleshy, and grows underground at a depth of 10-20 centimeters. The truffle has many varieties. The main place of their growth is the forest of Southern France, Northern Italy. However, these mushrooms are also found in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and even in Central Asia.
This mushroom is a saprophyte. Mycorrhiza is formed by it with the roots of oak and beech, and it receives nutrition from organic substances in the soil. In most cases, the fruiting body has an irregular flattened shape. In the context of such a mushroom, it looks a little like a potato, or it has a marbled appearance. There are veins with colorless rims. The truffle has a bag-shaped bag, which contains globular spores and blunt spines. However, not every type of truffle is edible. The black French truffle and the white Piedmont truffle are of the greatest value. One type of truffle is typical for Russia - summer. Specially trained dogs and pigs are used to search for such mushrooms. Occasionally, you can find a truffle on your own if it is located under rotting leaves.
The black (winter) truffle is characterized by a rounded bumpy shape of the fruiting body with an uneven black or dark gray surface. The size of these truffles can be very diverse - from walnut to medium apple. The fruit body has a reddish tint of the pulp, which, after full maturation of the mushroom, becomes purple-black. This mushroom is characterized by a strong aroma and delicate taste.
Edible mushrooms contain substances that are inherent not only in plants, but also in animals. However, it is impossible to name the exact percentage of certain substances, since it is not constant and depends on various conditions. Therefore, with an increase in the percentage of animal substances in mushrooms, they become poisonous.
Site selection and preparation
Black truffles are usually grown in groves with oaks, hornbeams, nuts and beeches. Only on the roots of these trees can the fungus form mycorrhiza. The use of natural or specially cultivated groves is allowed. In addition, truffles require a warm climate to grow as they cannot tolerate severe frosts or high temperatures. Therefore, a climate with mild winters and cool, humid summers is ideal for truffle cultivation. It is also important to remember that a truffle can only grow in calcareous soil, which must be well drained and have a good range of nutrients.
In the course of artificial cultivation of these mushrooms, special plantations are established and the soil, characteristic of the natural habitat of truffles, is added to the soil.
The choice of a place for trees is also important, because they should not be exposed to extreme weather events. In addition, such trees should grow far from other trees, and various animals should not have access to them. It is also important to check the level of soil acidity. At home, this is done as follows - a soil sample is placed in a container, then white vinegar is added there. If the mixture emits a slight hiss, then the truffle will not grow in such soil, an increase in the alkalinity level is required. For this purpose, lime is added to the ground. And only after that trees are planted.
The mycelium must be brought in with soil that has been brought from the truffle's natural habitat. To do this, a mycelium is dug out with a depth of 10-15 centimeters, and placed near the trees. Alternatively, a fully ripe mushroom can be broken open and scattered near the roots of tree seedlings. To date, hazel seedlings, to which truffle spores are grafted, are already available for sale. The mycelium is transplanted at the end of summer or at the beginning of the autumn period.
Growing and harvesting
The main care when growing truffles is to prepare the area for their growth. There should not be various shrubs on the ground, and even more so other mushrooms. You should also be careful to ensure that no one tramples this piece of land. The first harvest should be expected 5-7 years after planting the seedlings. The duration of fruiting is about 25-30 years. Often the fruiting bodies of a truffle are arranged in nests of 3-7 pieces together. After they mature, the ground above them becomes slightly elevated and the grass dries up. If such a sign appears, you can start harvesting. In most cases, truffles ripen in the fall and are harvested before winter begins. Each mushroom should be wrapped in parchment and placed in dry rice. This allows the mushrooms to retain moisture.You should also refuse to completely clean them from the ground, since this will protect them from loss of taste and the appearance of microorganisms. The mushrooms should be kept in a cool place.