Of Truffles and Men

The announcement recently that truffle production has dropped to a mere 25 tonnes should be quite astounding. Given that the price is €1000-1500  per kilo at the moment you would think every man and his hound (or truffle pig) would be out there hunting the little smelly things.

A short century ago the harvest was 1000 tonnes, quite a dramatic drop off . Now we have celebrity chefs using truffle oils and ‘shavings’ on all things edible – yet there are so few of them .Plantations are constantly receiving EU grants ( not available in the UK) to boost production .

Curious to say the least, you could speculate that there is some sculduggery going on, you could say I am very cynical.

So in the time honoured manner of joining those you cannot beat, and following several years of research into the soil analysis of Truffle plantations we will be offering our expertise to aid the reversal of this trend. Aiming to offer advice on site choice , production, types of tree and suitability to your area on a commercial basis.

 

Truffle Plantations Ltd

 

Drunken Elk rescued from Apple tree !

AN elk was left stuck up an apple tree in Sweden after getting drunk on its fermenting fruits.

The inebriated animal was bellowing and kicking ferociously when it was found by Per Johansson in his neighbor’s yard in Saro, south of Gothenburg, The Local reported today.

“I went over to take a look and spotted an elk stuck in an apple tree with only one leg left on the ground,” he said. “My neighbour recognized it as the animal that almost ran into her car earlier in the day. She was pretty sure the elk was already under the influence.”

Mr Johansson and his neighbours tried to saw down the tree’s branches but they could not untangle the animal and had to wait for the fire brigade to arrive.

When it was freed, the elk laid down on the ground and slept off the effects of the intoxicating fruit. The following morning it woke up and staggered away from the garden.

Drunken elks are common in Sweden during the autumn season when there are plenty of apples lying around on the ground and hanging from branches.

My thanks to ‘The Australian ” for spotting this article – made me laugh.

Bad ideas for this weekend

I had a phone call today from  a customer ,who with saw and secateurs at the ready, was under the impression that this was a wise day to start pruning the fruit trees in his garden.I suggested a few frivolous reasons as to why this may be a daft idea,unperturbed, the client wished to continue so I had to explain more emphatically that pruning now will do no good at all and may cause damage by letting in the “Big Freeze’ (or normal cold ) thus causing the demise of said trees.Suitably re-educated and promising  to spend the remainder of the day sharpening the tools and preparing some disinfectant to use with them for when the warm spell returns (any remaining time before dark would be used to actually read up on how to do the job).

Citrus in the Autumn

As the light is now fading most citrus trees will slow and stop growing.Dormancy will start as the temperature sinks below 11c on a regular basis so beware of over watering.If you can, try to dry the plant out a little. Citrus are quite happy to sit in a cool conservatory with modest water, just keep the compost moist by watering well every few weeks – then leave the plant to -almost dry- do not be tempted to water little and often – it will kill the tree.

Feed is still important but with the temperature low, the roots cannot take up many nutrients so consider using a foliar feed such as Seasol; ‘Power feed’ , stupid name but it is a very good product. Citrus store food in the leaves for the winter and move it around as required which means pruning is not a good idea, leave that until spring.

Gro Lights can help if your lovely Lemon or Lime is living in a spare room, hang one above the tree. This can help prevent so called ‘winter leaf drop’, which is really the tree deciding that it can only support fewer leaves until the weather brightens up. Mist regularly if possible.

Any trees purchased from us have free ‘Advice for life”,ring us to chat through any problems or mail pics.