Virginia Truffle Fete
Learn the History of the Newest Festival in Virginia
Our truffle journey began in 2015 when I came across the movie, “Haute Cuisine”. I had no idea what truffles were, however, it sparred my research into this fascinating fungi. Natively foraged in France and Italy, the cultivation of truffles have expanded to Europe, the US and Virginia. All in that particular order.
We purchased our farm in 2016 with the intention to start our own orchard. Good Truffle was formed to support farming efforts. In 2018, we built phase I of our home so that we could be onsite to manage the orchard. In this time – I also volunteered my time with the Northern American Trufflegrowers Association (NATGA) as Treasurer and Website Administrator.
We planted our first 527 trees in the Spring of 2019. Our next 500+ trees will be planted Spring 2024. We will also be adding 200-300 Loblolly Pines inoculated with Tuber borchii or Bianchetto truffles in Spring 2024.
Cultivation of truffles is not for the weak of heart. You don’t plant trees with the expectation of harvest in two to three years. The cultivation and harvest of truffle could take up to ten years.
Foraging for a Very Unique Product
At current, our orchard is pre-productive. Shortly after moving to orchard and while patiently waiting for our own cultivation and harvest, we added the brokerage of truffles from growers to the public. However, there are not many productive growers in Virginia. One of the productive growers and also pioneers in truffle growing in Virginia also imports truffles from growers in Europe for brokerage to the public and restaurants.
After volunteering for NATGA and during the time of COVID, I spent time closely studying truffles with a mycologist in Spain who is originally from the US (Oregon). It is at this time when the realization that no assistance is available to growers in Virginia. There were also no regional events to showcase growers or their truffles in Virginia. This is when the Virginia Truffle Fete (Festival) was conceived.
Root to Table Culinary Sponsorship
I am a firm supporter and believer in farm to table. Sponsorship of the Root to Table Culinary Series was a natural fit as truffle cultivation begins at the root of the host tree.
Honest and quality food cannot be bestowed upon the public without the amazing Chefs of the Blue Ridge, their restaurants, and the food that is grown by dedicated and patient farmers of the Commonwealth.
In this ecosystem, much like the ecosystem of mycology, Chefs, their culinary creations, restaurants, and the public can generate interest in truffles and trufflegrowers of Virginia. We hope to educate the public to support research and funding of the growers in Virginia that strive to provide the elusive truffle to the public.