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Growing Carolina Truffles

Here are my notes on growing truffles in North Carolina.  Mr, Garland is a hero, a man who figured out how to grow truffles outside France, a true accomplishment.  Garland Truffles of Hillsborough NC offers trees, tips and techniques, and Franklin Garland has been talking about the potential for North Carolina to become one of the finest truffle growing regions of the world.

Planting Carolina Truffles

  • The optimal site for a truffle orchard is an open area with good southern exposure.
  • It should be free of trees and roots for preferably a year or more prior to planting but with a minimum of six months. Up to a 15 degree slope is acceptable.
  • A buffer strip between the edge of the orchard and adjacent trees is necessary to avoid contamination from other tree roots.
  • Hazelnuts and live oaks inoculated with truffle spores, are planted in exacting grids, 6 feet between trees, 12 feet between rows.
  • European truffle farming history has shown that the middle ground between the trees, beneath the drip lines of the canopy, is where the roots meet, the ground is highly acidic and truffles grow aplenty.


Maintenance of Carolina Truffle fields

  • For the first several years, when the inoculated saplings are small and fragile and the all-important root systems are in their infancy, all the weeding and tending is done by hand.

Harvesting Carolina Truffles

  • Truffle season is mid-November through early March.
  • Itís only a 10-day window from the time they bloom (under the soil) until the time they shrivel and die.

Yield and Carolina truffle prices:

  • On rare occasions orchards have come into full production after four years, but in general it is not until the eighth year that production levels are reached.
  • Production levels are about 50 to 75 pounds per year/ per acre.
  • A mature, well-maintained, 1-acre orchard can produce up to 100 pounds per year for at least 30 years.
  • The low has been $350 per pound, with current season commanding over $2000 per pound in some markets.
  • Certainly $500 per pound is completely realistic, and at a minimum of 50 lbs per acre, this amounts to $25,000 (gross) per year/per acre. We are selling truffles this season (2008) for $800 per pound.

Visiting a truffle orchard

We arranged a tour with Garland truffles to learn more about cultivating black truffles in North Carolina.








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