Welcome to Woodford Truffles SA

Woodford Truffles SA (Pty)Ltd. 

We are a Farming Partnership Company, bringing together knowledge from around the world for the commercial production of 'The Black Perigord Truffle', Tuber melanosporum, in the Southern African region.

We believe our techniques are advanced, using thorough and scientific methods currently employed internationally, to cultivate the black truffle.

Our production techniques used for partnership plantations have the following benefits:

           1.  DNA-identified innoculums, 

           2.  multiple innoculations, 

           3.  reduced contamination through autoclaving the substrate. 

With solid relationships across the globe through the scientific community consulting for us, our thorough orchard monitoring will lead to successful truffle harvests.


If you are interested to become a grower participating in this Truffle Joint Venture program contact us.  Let us know where in South Africa your land is situated to enable us to ascertain its suitability for truffle growing.




TRUFFLE CULTIVATION IN SOUTH AFRICA WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS

Woodford Truffles SA (Pty)Ld.

Our head office is based at

5 Bisschop Road, Hout Bay

Cape Town 7806

South Africa

Tel.   +27-21-7913953

Fax.  +27-21-7914398

cel.   +27-83-2251179

e-mail     mirosct@iafrica.com


The Truffle Guru of South Africa

 A Truffle Gerfuffel !

     The Black Perigord Truffle is the legendary culinary black diamond of the kitchen - Tuber melanosporum - we have long read about in European magazines and associate it with the good life of champagne, caviar and a luxe lifestyle. Ah, the good life!


Volker Miros, is the Truffle Guru, his interest in mushrooms at a very early age when mushroom hunting with his grandfather in the forests of around Stuttgart, Germany. Later in life, Volker’s interest in food steered him to become a prominent Food Photographer.


      First, a confession: I am a microphile at heart. As a young boy in Germany, my grandfather trained me to search for wild mushrooms in the forest. The splendid mushrooms we found were then served at our Sunday lunch. This fondest of childhood memories left an indelible, aromatic impression on me. I tried to grow boletus mushrooms for years in South Africa and never succeeded. I am a South African farmer, so failure was not an option but a challenge. 

Great Business Oportunity - Truffle Partnerships

Volker Miros, first developed an interest in Cultivating Truffles when he learnt about the Khoi-Khoin culinary tradition of searching and collecting the white Kalahari truffle, known as the "t-nabba”. Over the last 10 years Volker investigated all the available information on the World Wide Web, and has acquired a vast knowledge of world truffle cultivation.  Wild truffles were then recently found in South Africa for the first time on the chalk downs of the Southern Cape, assuring our scientists that truffles can be cultivated here.  Volker had already set out and  assembled a team of experts to launch commercial truffle cultivation in Southern Africa on a large scale.  

The Woodford team of mycologists, agriculturists, horticulturists and scientists are in a position to apply the technology to establish Joint Venture truffle orchards, and will support in all aspects of setting up and assisting the grower in managing the orchard.  If you have land and are interested in cultivating Black Perigord Truffles, send us your GPS co-ordinates and we will ascertain if your site has enough 'Cold Units'. Once your orchard is setup, our specialists will visit your orchard on a regular basis to monitor the progress of the truffle mycorrhiza. 

CULTIVATING TRUFFLES IN SA

Background information for the grower … THE BASICS


Is your Area Cold Enough

The most important step is to establish if you have the right cold units. We need 800 cold units for truffles to be successfully propagated in your area.

Your day and night average winter temperature needs to be about 8° degrees . Lower temps are OK but higher temps are not ideal and would have to be tempered by mulching.


Site Establishment

Your site selection is the second most important step toward successful truffle production. 

Take sun and wind direction and water availability into consideration when choosing a site.

The French black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) needs a climate without extreme summer heat or extreme winter cold. Mulching and irrigation methods can modify conditions and make marginal areas suitable for truffle growing.

Truffles require well-drained soils. The French Black Truffle tolerates a broad range of soils from sandy to clay loams, including rocky soils.

Woodford truffles team of experts will work together with you to confirm the most suitable site.

TRUFFLE MANAGEMENT TEAM


VOLKER MIROS. S.A.S.C                  

The driving force, and person you should contact for all the low down on the Joint Venture Project in South Africa.The 'Truffle Guru' of South Africa.

Paul

PAUL MIROS. S.A.S.C

Second in command, and in charge of advertising and marketing





RIAAN VAN ZYL. BSc.

(Bsc)Silviculturist. Arborialist, 

 Our in-house forester, will give advice on pruning and tree health to maintain the condition of the truffle trees.



ANGELA MIROS. 

Woodford Financial Director.


TONY FRITH.

CA(SA) Accountant

SPECIALIST CONSULTANTS

PROFESSOR ALLESSANDRA ZAMBONELLI. 

Mycologist. 

Co-author of the Truffle Bible “Taming the Truffle”, Bologna University, consults and willingly shares all her secrets.


Dr.RONEL VAN ROOYEN.

Mycologist - Our in-house consultant


HEINI LÜTTICH.

Irrigation and Climatology Consultant.

ex-Department of Water affairs.(DWAF)


Dr. RENEÉ PRINS

Geneticist.

Renee does all the DNA testing for Woodford Truffles to make sure only “Melanosporum” spores are used for inoculating our seedlings.

OUR TRUFFLE TECHNOLOGY

SCIENTIFIC NURSERY PRACTICES

Over the years, Woodford has developed and refined its method of creating heavily mychorizal saplings ready for planting into the orchard. Techniques have been garnered from research across the globe. With our international consultants regularly visiting and bringing new found techniques, we are constantly up to date with new developements in the truffle industry. Together, all our South African partner farmers bring their experience and  knowledge to the party and in turn advance the groups knowledge of local conditions.

dna sampling

The technology developed and used by us to produce "truffle trees" is novel and has huge advantages over generaly used technology. Our sterile environments and DNA certification ensures superior saplings with thorough mychorizhal colinisation and thus ultimately higher profit margins. High inoculation levels, guarantees colonisation, health and vigour before the truffle trees are supplied to the plantation location. We use large container cultivation ensuring good root development.

OUR TRUFFLE LABORATORY

The Laboratory work conducted over the past 7 years has crafted and refined the process we employ to produce quality saplings. 

Innoculation techniques have been refined to suit the unique conditions of the Southern African biosphere.

InTheLabWoodfordTruffles

Our International Consultants' annual visits continue to bring fresh ideas and updated methodologies.

continued identification and thorough infestation of mychorizal inoculations, ensure viability of the trees.

Truffles are DNA tested to ensure only Tuber Melanosporum is used in the innoculation process.

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OUR TRUFFLE NURSERY

The woodford nursury is capable of producing over 40 000 trees annually.

Our team of nursery staff work all year round to care for the saplings to produce specimins we are proud of releasing to our JV Partners.

Inoculation and rooting techniques are continuously researched, checked and updated as our techniques are developed. 

IlexNurseryWoodford


CULINARY TRUFFLE DELIGHTS

There is an epicurean world market for this product. Woodford's cultivation of truffles has our very own South African chef waiting for their truffles. This is an agricultural recipe for success.

Chefs all across South Africa have been using the Northern hemisphere season of truffles to introduce the novel truffle taste to the local market.  Imported Tuber Melanosporum (Black Perigord Truffle), and the less aromatic Tuber Brumale (Summer Truffle) have been sold over the years in very small quantities.  This year (2016) for the very first time, local South African Truffles were consumed with indulgence and the chefs were complimentary.

 


Recipe :              

Risotto with prawn, calamari and shaved truffle

Ingredients : (Serves 4)

350g   Rice – Carnaroli type

1   Clove of garlic

8 baby calamari  tubes, washed

12 Prawn tails

20g White onions

100g Butter

50g Fresh parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

30g Prawn  bisque

1 litre Fish stock

Method : In a saucepan (20 cm X 20 cm), brown off 20g of butter with the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and warm up for about 1 minute, gradually adding the fish stock. In a different saucepan, brown off the calamari and the bisque.  Then add to the rice .

NEWS Blog / Archive


Truffles in South Africa Poster presented at Cahors (France)

BLACK TRUFFLE PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA


Volker Miros1, Paul Miros1, Ian Hall2 , Alessandra Zambonelli3


1 Woodford Truffles SA (Pty)Ltd, South Africa

 2Truffles and Mushrooms (Consulting) Ltd, P.O. Box 268, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

3Department of Agricultural Science, Bologna University, viale Fanin 46, 40127 Bologna

Cahors Flyer Page 1
Cahors Flyer Page 2




Woodford's biggest JV Partnership - Max Bastard

On day three of Woodford's Truffle Orchard Inspection Tour 2015, we arrived at Willowdale Farm to see Max Bastard, Photographer and Truffle Farmer in Kokstad, KZN

max house

Max's long-standing family farm was a three hour drive in the Woodford Truffle Bus - from the George airport we drove up into the mountains and then into the snow line. The first question potential partners ask us when inquiring about the suitability of their farm location for growing a truffle orchard is: do I have the right climate conditions for growing truffles. 

Meet Max, one of Woodford Truffles favourite partner clients. He is a passionate farmer who informs himself with solid research and so is able to contribute to research as well as ask us great questions. With his sound base of knowledge about truffle production and with our regular visits and tests, we anticipate an excellent truffle future here at Willowdale Farms.  Max has two 15 hectare orchards, one newly planted. 

max orchard 2

The first of two Orchards installed on Willowdale Farm.

Max is also training his own dog to be a truffle hunter. Woodford's truffle dog breeders and trainers provide tried and tested methods they have used for many years now as they have trained our own truffle dogs.

max &Vm preparing a meal together

Max and Volker preparing a meal together.

We feel that Kokstaad is a prime truffle growing hot spot for the Eastern Cape. And, the more farmers we can encourage to produce truffles in this area, the better! 

Truffles are coming to Kouwdouw


SOUTH AFRICA’S TRUFFLE ORCHARD HOT SPOT - KOUWDOW

Kouwdouw signage

Volker Miros and Professor Alessandra Zambonelli excited to be visiting what Woodford Truffles considers to be a prime South African Balck Perigord Truffle growing hot spot. 

Volker Miros; "We have a lot of hope for this area to become a Truffle hot spot for farmers in the region. Of course, the more farmers in the area that are growing truffles, the better it is for all. We already have 20 Ha planted and another 12 Ha in the pipeline in this area alone"

Woodford Truffle Team at the Rosa Blú Café in Kouwdouw

Next stop on our Truffle Inspection Tour 2015 was a visit to the farm owned by Ansius Lategan and family.

As Professor Zambonelli had brought with her several of the freshest Black Perigord Truffles from Bologna for our inoculation purposes, we happily packed away a couple of the primest truffles for a truffle tasting with local friends and farmers.

And what better local restaurant than La Rosa Blú Cafê on the Rosenhof Rose-farm to treat the success of their truffle venture?

chef2

Our truffle tasting menu was skilfully executed and beautifully presented by Chef Peter-John Snyman. We started with Chef Snyman's creamiest of eggs made special with generous shavings of black truffles. Only the glorious steamed Kabeljou on mash with creamy truffle dressing could have topped that. And it did!

kabeljou with truffle sauce

Our partners Lategan and de Kock are taking delivery of their first inoculated truffle trees in September.

We look forward to many more of our inspection tours to this area. Partner de Kock says that truffle farming can do for the Southern Cape what vineyards have done for the winelands of the Western Cape:

presentation kouwdouw

Riaan Van Zyl talking about orchard setup

"Truffle tourism is huge and truffle products like truffle butter are extremely popular. Chefs are also keen to use it in their dishes and, although we will concentrate on the export market as our seasons differ from that of Europe, we hope to be able to provide the local market with truffles at affordable prices"


Truffle success story

Truffle Farmers orchard shows good micorrhizal inoculation.

Our Joint Venture Partner "Max" farming with 10 hectares of truffles on Willowdale near Kokstad is delighted with the mycorrhizal development of his trees. Trees are growing well as shown in this photograph.

IMG 0828


Max has taken ultra close-ups of root sections of his trees and the Melanosporum mycorrhizae were identified by Professor Alessandra Zambonelli of Bologna University. With good mycorrihzae developing on the tree-roots, truffles are usually not far behind.

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                            Melanosporum Mycorrhizal infection

In autumn of the year 2014 "Woodfords" trained trufflers "Bonnie and Clyde" will visit Max's orchard to test if truffles can be found yet.

Truffler

Published - "Private Edition Article" courtesy of Private Edition

Private Edition3 1
Private Edition2
Private Edition3


 


Newsletter 02


THE WOODFORD NEWS  no. 2       2012-08-12         

 

We thought we should let everyone know that things at Woodford Truffles continue to progress well and that in the last year or two a number of farsighted people, from all over the country, have bought into Woodford’s Joint-Venture.

 

There can be no doubt that Trufflemania has hit South Africa.

With computers, the Internet and E-mail, the world has shrunk completely, truffle growing in the Southern Hemisphere is definitely not an unknown business.  New Zealand, Australia, Chile, are already harvesting good crops under conditions identical to those we have in our country, and locally Woodford Truffles, under the enthusiastic guidance of Volker Miros and his team, who have studied the subject extensively for more than ten years, and invested millions of Rands in putting Woodford Truffles into production on their farm Groenfontein in the Kouebokkeveld, are perhaps only a year or two from their first harvest.

 

We can be sure of this because in his usual thorough way Volker Miros has on board as advisors, Dr. Ian Hall, mycologist in New Zealand’s truffle growing industry and creator of a truffle grower’s bible,  Professor Alesandra Zambonelli, professor of mycology at Bologna University in Italy, co-author of the truffle bible, and who visit us regularly to assess Woodford Truffles’ progress, as well as that of all the partners  orchards who have bought into the Joint-Venture. 

 

I was privileged to be present during their most recent visit late last year, when, in Woodford’s laboratory at Groenfontein, they inspected the mycorrhizal development on roots taken from the Groenfontein orchards. Groenfontein management could not help but be very impressed and excited by their ecstatic reports; “The best I’ve ever seen” was Professor Zambonelli’s delighted comment.

 

This just goes to prove that if you follow the rules, progress is ongoing and one can look forward to a bumper crop when the time comes.

 

The knowledge is available, and just as when one plants apples or pears, if you follow the rules, if your land is in the correct temperature zone, and you prepare the soil, and provide enough water, there “WILL” be truffles.

 

The demand for truffles gets greater all the time,  Woodford Truffles have been told by overseas buyers, over and over again, that they will take everything that South Africa can produce. 

 

Meanwhile it’s a fact that now, and for the foreseeable future, there is a worldwide market waiting to pay top dollar for whatever we produce.

It’s just fortuitous that we in this country are gearing up for truffle production at this particular juncture, but rest assured that there has never been a better time to be in the truffle business.

 

An interesting recent development for Woodford Truffles has been the acquisition of our first truffle dogs.  Trevor Norris, a well known animal trainer working in the film business, was brought onboard a year or so ago to train up specially bred dogs to sniff out and harvest truffles.  Early last year, Woodford sent Trevor and his wife Marda, to Italy to witness truffle dogs at work, and to be introduced to the long established training methods in use in Europe.  As you probably know, in the old days pigs were used for the harvesting of truffles, and very good they were too at finding them.  However the pigs always wanted to eat the truffles, and sometimes in the ensuing scuffle the pig handlers would lose a couple of fingers, so they eventually changed to dogs.  Groenfontein has “two” to begin with, and as they will be Truffle Hunters, it has been decided to call them Bonnie and Clyde.  They are still puppies so it will be a while before we see results but we will keep you posted as to their progress.

 

Meanwhile, for further information about Woodford Truffles you can go to the website at www.woodfordtruffles.co.za  or mail: Volker@miros.co.za   or phone Volker Miros on 083-2251179  ;  (+27)021-7913953

 

 

Well that’s all for now,

All the very best,

 

Gary Haselau, for Woodford Truffles. 

Published - Landbou 16/10/12

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A South African First - Trufflers


We are pleased to announce our first Trufflers"

As we had announced some time ago to all our Joint Venture Partners, Marda and Trevor our animal handlers studied in Italy how to train "truffle dogs" are now ready with the first litter of "TRUFFLERS".They are a cross breed we selected to become our preferred truffle hunters. Trained dogs will become available for purchase when our orchards have the truffle aroma exuding from the soil. Trevor is also an animal handler in the Cape film industry.

Welcome Proffessor Alesandra Zambonelli

Woodford Truffles is proud to welcome Professor Allesandra Zambonelli to the Team. Allesandra has many years of experience in research and the establishment of orchards internationally, with success stories of producing truffles.

The Black Perigord Truffle Inoculum used in the inoculation of the Woodford Truffles SA truffle trees is taken from imported Italian truffles, and the samples are DNA tested  by Dr Renee Prins, Geneticist of the Cengen Laboratories, to ensure that no  other  mycorrhiza is present, and that only the finest Tuber Melanosporum is used to inoculate the trees which are destined to be planted in the Joint Venture Partners' orchards.


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