NParks Invites Director Of Java Truffle Center To Teach Singaporeans How To Grow Truffles At Home
Truffles are widely considered one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, but Singaporeans might soon be able to grow them in the comfort of their homes. Well, that is the opportunity NParks is offering if you attend their Community Garden Festival this Sunday (5 Nov) from 11am to 12pm.
Held at the Multi-Purpose Hall in HortPark, the Community Garden Festival offers a wide range of activities from guided tours to talks and demonstrations, all in the celebration of gardening. However, one particular event stood out for us: growing truffles at home.
Yes, you read correctly. You could be growing the aromatic and decadent black truffle, which can cost between S$1,471 to S$2,396 per kilo, from your backyard if you attend a talk conducted by Dr Salem Shamekh.
The best part of it all? The talk is free!
The promise of exploding taste buds and wallets
Truffles are one of the most sought after ingredients by chefs around the world because they are difficult to farm and require a lot of effort — it takes between five to eight years before the first truffle is ready for harvest.
However, truffle research centers such as the Juva Truffle Center, which Dr Shamekh hails from, have devised comprehensive plans to help landowners build their own truffle orchards. To date, Juva Truffle Center has established at least 33 truffle orchards in Finland.
Come this Sunday, director of the research center Dr Shamekh, will be conducting a free lesson on the techniques to grow truffle in homes.
We think you have a better chance of striking Toto
Now before you rub your hands with glee at what seems like brilliant a money-making opportunity, we feel it is our duty to inform you that the rate of success is low and requires a large amount of money.
We here at MustShareNews don’t claim to be experts in agriculture, but here’s what we found out about growing truffles.
1. Truffles require a soil pH of 7.5 to 8.3
Traditionally, lime is used to increase the pH of the soil to the necessary levels. And, this process usually takes several years to achieve.
2. You need trees
Since truffles are essentially fungi, they need a host tree to survive on. However, it gets a little bit more complicated than that. Other fungi can compete with the truffle for dominance over the tree’s nutrients. As such, careful soil conditions must be created to ensure that truffles get the best chance to grow.
What research centers such as Juva Truffle Center does, is to inoculate tree seedlings with truffle species. This give the truffle an advantage of growing before another fungi can assert its dominance.
3. A lot of water
Typically, large trees like oak and hazelnut are used to grow truffles. This requires lots of water to upkeep.
4. Get a truffle sniffer dog
Just like the dogs at Central Narcotics Bureau are trained to sniff out drugs, truffle cultivators train dogs to sniff for truffles so that time and effort is not wasted.
5. Cross your fingers for five to eight years
Probably the most annoying of all, you need to wait a minimum of five years or longer before you can harvest your first truffle. It is also possible that truffles might not even grow. Which means you have wasted a bucket load of time and money.
Don’t take our word for it
We would like to reiterate once again that we are not experts in this field so attending Dr Samekh’s talk might reveal that it is possible to grow truffles in Singapore.
However, we would like to warn you that growing truffles is a high risk business which require optimum conditions.
Truffle farming is far too uncertain a venture to ever consider.
Featured image from NParks