AN unforgettable smell of incredible intensity full of earthy scents hits you when you encounter your first truffle.
Hoping to share this experience Tasmanian Truffles farm manager Henry Terry has opened the gates for tours.
"We've opened up the doors for people to come in and have a look and see how truffles are harvested and what it's all about," he said.
The star of the tour is Bickie a Border Collie who sniffs out the truffles.
"I think people are fascinated with the dogs in particular and just how they do it and how skilled they are," Mr Terry said.
"On the tours people can come in we watch the dogs at work. People can dig up their own truffles if they feel like it. After that we sit down in the trufflery for a nice lunch and enjoy a cold wine or beer."
During tours Mr Terry explains the day to day farm operations and the science behind growing truffles.
Truffles grow from spores, that live underground and in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of several trees species in particular oaks and hazel.
The fungus helps the tree to extract nutrients from the ground and the tree provides the truffles with carbohydrates to grow.
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Mr Terry said they were lucky to be able to harvest for nine months of the year.
"We harvest summer truffles from January through until May and then we harvest our winter truffles from June to September."
He said the a lot of management is needed on the farm.
"Climate is one thing that you absolutely must have right but also if you are bringing truffles then you have to make the soil more suitable to encourage the tuber melanosporum, which is the black truffle.
“In France where the truffles originate from they don't have any competing fungis and they have evolved to grow in those sort of soils, which are really alkaline and calcareous soils, really calcium rich soils, super high pH. Here in Australia we have really high acidity soils.
“Even here on our farm, compared to most places around us we have a fairly alkaline soil."
In 1999 the Terry family harvested their first truffle and the country’s first black truffle, now their business produces a range of products.
"At the moment we create a bunch of products using a truffles and we sell fresh truffles all over Australia as well so at this stage that's a big part of the business and hopefully by opening our doors that will add another element to that," Mr Terry said.
And finally, for all the females out there, Mr Terry did confirm that he is still a bachelor.
Mr Terry first set social media alight after appearing on My Kitchen Rules, where he was know as Tasmania's 'hot truffle farmer'.
The farm is located just outside of Deloraine. For more details on farm tours click here.
- This story first appeared on The Advocate.