Big truffle season tipped

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Pottinger Truffles co-founder David Pottinger with some of the truffles picked from the farm.
Camera IconPottinger Truffles co-founder David Pottinger with some of the truffles picked from the farm. Credit: Holly Thompson

This year’s truffle harvest is under way and the region’s growers have predicted a good season.

The harvest period will last only three months, from June to August, but growing the truffles is a year-round process.

Pottinger Truffles, located just outside of Pemberton, grows a variety called tuber melanosporum, also called the Black Winter, French or Perigold truffle.

Truffiere co-founder David Pottinger said this was a rare kind of truffle, with just 100 to 150 tonnes produced across the world each year.

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He said the season was shaping up to be successful, but many truffle growers had different ideas on why they were having success.

“This is the issue with truffles, everybody has an opinion, but not many people really know at all,” he said.

“In Europe they would say thunderstorms and summer rain has an effect, which I think is probably true, but it is just my opinion, it is not really based on fact.”

Mr Pottinger said he believed this year’s season was shaping up to be better than last year.

“This year’s summer has had a positive effect on the size and yield of truffles compared to last year,” he said.

“I think they are definitely bigger in size this year in comparison.”

Although the weather is believed to have a big effect on how truffles grow, Mr Pottinger said there were many other factors which helped to grow good truffles.

“The soil and how you look after it, good inoculation and having the truffles well spread out throughout the soil are all important,” he said.

“People can grow the same kind of truffle in the exact same environment but have very different results.”

For the remainder of the season, Mr Pottinger said his truffiere would be focusing on exporting its produce.

“We aim to export most of our produce, we do have several Australian distributors, but the amount they take is not big,” he said.

“A lot of what we export actually ends up in Michelin Star restaurants and there are not as many of those in Australia as there are in other places around the world.”

Most of the truffles will go to America, Asia and Europe.

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