A truffle beds is where truffles develop. In Piedmont, the white truffle grows in:
* woods of mixed species of oak, above all in the Langhe
* the vegetation belts close to streams with poplars, willows and oaks
* wooded areas planted along ditches
* poplar groves, in particular when elderly
* willows for wicker, often planted in rows
* single trees, they can be poplars, oaks or lindens
* public and private gardens, which will be dealt with further on
Truffle beds management
To manage a truffle beds means to place the mycelium of the mushroom in the best conditions for it to develop. Plenty of research has been done in this field and much is underway.
To date it has provided important data on what the truffle “likes” or on what harms it. These data combined with the information deriving from the precious experience and observation of the Truffle hunter have produced a “protocol” of agronomic activities to increase the production output of the truffle-beds.
The management of the grassy and shrubby vegetation, tillage and water management are effective activities which, if correctly executed, have no impact on the environment.
A domestic species
A curious and little known aspect of the truffle, in particular of the prized white truffle, is its presence in gardens and public parks. Alba can boast several “urban” truffle beds that produce excellent white truffles just a short walk from city centre streets.
The ground close to homes often contains rubble with a high content of calcium carbonate, which slowly dissolves in the ground enriching it with calcium, a chemical element which is essential for the truffle, above all for the prized white truffle. This is why the truffle is also capable of growing in flowerbeds. The methods of collection used when the fruit bodies are found under asphalt or perhaps under a wall or a footpath are rather curious.