It is very profitable to sell delicacies, as their cost is high. And having decided to launch a business related to the sale of such a category of products, think about growing truffles. This is a delicacy that is appreciated all over the world. They grow in warm climates. It is rather difficult to “reproduce” the natural conditions for growing truffles in Russia. But some entrepreneurs still manage to establish a stable business of breeding and further implementation of a tasty mushroom.
Truffle is a very rare mushroom growing on the territory of Portugal, Italy, France. Only in rare cases they are found in the forests of Russia. The complexity of their collection lies in the fact that they grow at a depth of 30 cm under the ground - they are looking for them with specially trained dogs or pigs. Given this, it is not surprising that the cost of truffles is so high.
If you are interested in the idea of growing delicious mushrooms, get ready for difficulties - the occupation is quite complicated. Consider how to grow truffles at home and how to establish sales channels.
Our business valuation:
Starting investment - 200,000 rubles.
Market saturation is low.
The difficulty of starting a business is 8/10.
Growing truffles: “for” and “against”
Growing truffles at home is very different from the technology used by private farmers, for example, in the cultivation of oyster mushrooms or mushrooms. It is worth preparing for many difficulties - the task is not easy. What difficulties await the entrepreneur who decided to master this area?
- To establish artificial cultivation of truffles, it is necessary to find an impressive start-up capital - you need to buy expensive seed material to rent a plot of land.
- We'll have to look for where to buy truffle mycelium - there are very few suppliers of quality seed. It does not hurt to carefully study the issue, in order to distinguish the unfit mycelium from the one that will eventually yield an abundant harvest of valuable mushrooms.
- Growing truffles as a business means a long payback period. You will not harvest your first crop in less than 5 years. During this period, you will only invest in the cause of finance, without receiving any return.
But the main advantage of this business idea, which covers all its flaws - the possibility of obtaining high profits from the sale of the finished product! The sale of truffles, if you find profitable sales channels, will bring an impressive income to the entrepreneur. And it will be easy to find buyers of mushrooms, considering that in our country practically no one is involved in this business - a significant part of the product is purchased abroad at an exorbitant price.
Choosing a place for planting truffles
The technology of growing truffles is quite complicated. If you do not comply with certain conditions, you will not get a harvest. Therefore, approach the issue with full responsibility! Otherwise, it may turn out this way - you will only spend the money, but you will not receive any profit.
Well, if you have the opportunity to talk with the already existing "farmers" who successfully sell truffles that are grown on their own. Then you will personally see the technology and learn about the many nuances of the case.
Cultivation of truffles can be done in 2 ways:
- In the greenhouse. Here we will have to take care of the construction of greenhouses, where the microclimate that is optimal for the growth and development of fungi will be maintained throughout the year. To do this, greenhouses will need to be automated - buy thermostats for heating and humidifying the earth and air. Growing truffle mushrooms in a greenhouse will cost you more - you will spend at least 200,000 rubles to build and equip a greenhouse of sufficient size. Since the landing of the mycelium is carried out at a considerable depth, large volumes of fertile land are to be brought to the site - and this also implies significant costs.
- In the open area. In this case, the growing conditions will be close to natural. But this method is only suitable for the southern regions, where it is not very cold in winter. In the northern part of our country there is a high probability that the mushrooms planted will die when it is too cold outside - you will not get a harvest. It will take its own plot of land, better - in a wooded area. In the open area, truffles are planted under young trees - oak, beech, walnut.
Growing black truffles should be carried out in a place that meets certain criteria:
- soil pH - not less than 7.5
- Territories - flat, without high mounds and low pits
- The soil should contain a large amount of humus and calcium. The presence of stones in the soil is not allowed
- Before planting the mycelium, a thorough mechanical treatment of the earth is always carried out - it must be well aerated.
Presence near to weeds and other types of mushrooms is not allowed
Already found a suitable place for running a "farm"? So, you can proceed to the landing of the mycelium.
Truffle growing technology
Artificially bred several types of truffles - white, black and Chinese. But it cannot be said that the cultivation of white truffles is something very different from the cultivation of black species of fungus. The difference here is more precisely in the taste characteristics of the finished product. Accordingly, the cost of truffles for sale will vary slightly. If there is such an opportunity, start with the cultivation of black fungus - in the market it is more valuable. This will save you from a long search for buyers in the future.
The cost of mycelium ranges from 300 rubles per 100 g. It is sold in a special substrate that can be planted at once on the site. Buy seed from a trusted seller!
If you decide to experiment with growing truffles, you need to be patient. Perhaps it will be you who will be able to breed a strange mushroom right under your windows. And even if you do not become a millionaire mushroom planter, you can certainly enjoy the aromatic and unique dishes with the addition of truffle.
Where do mushrooms grow?
Truffles grow all over the world: in Europe, Asia, North America and North Africa. Each species has its own habitat. Black Perigord truffle grows in oak, beech and hornbeam forests in southern France, northern Italy, in Spain and Switzerland.
Summer truffle (also black) distributed in Central Europe, Scandinavia, Central Asia, Russia and the Crimea. The deposits of summer truffle and several other species of this mushroom are found in Ukraine: in Transcarpathia, the Carpathians, in the Vinnitsa and Kiev regions, where oak and beech forests grow.
Perhaps they are in other places of our country, only people do not know about it. It so happened that, out of ignorance, they fed domestic animals with these expensive exotic mushrooms. To find underground mushrooms, the old method is still used: specially trained pigs and dogs.
Pigs can smell prey for 20–25 m, but they destroy the topsoil and often eat the find. Therefore, dogs are more often preferred, although they need to be trained longer. You can do without these helpers, focusing on red flies that lay eggs near the truffle tubers and swarm over this place.
Is it possible to grow at home?
The question of whether it is possible to grow truffles on your own at home is relevant today for two reasons. Firstly, these are exorbitantly high prices for this delicacy product: from 1000 hryvnia to several thousand euro per kilogram. Secondly, in Ukraine, the truffle is listed in the Red Book, which means it is prohibited to collect it in the wild and sell it in our country.
White truffles impossible to breed artificially. In contrast, black species have long been cultivated in Europe and China. Therefore, creating the necessary conditions, you can get a truffle crop at home.
Growing truffles can be successful at home. This requires a suitable climate, soil and a tree that the mushroom loves.
This condition is important not so much for mushrooms as for the host tree, for example, for oak. The continental climate of Ukraine is favorable in this respect: it is rather warm and humid. Desired summer temperature is 22 ° C.
- The soil should be sandy-clayey, rich in minerals such as calcium, nitrogen, iron and sulfur.
- Soil should be fertilized with humus.
- The earth should be cleared of stones and weeds and loosened.
- There should be no other myceliums in the chosen place, they will compete with each other.
- The soil pH should not be lower than 7.5.
Australian cultivation technology
What and how to do to grow fragrant truffle at home, the Australians know. Their technology remains the most successful since 1995. In a year, 1 hectare will yield 4 kg, and in 5–6 years - up to 20 kg.
This method has been successful for more than 20 years in Australia, where there has never been truffles, and in other countries. Moreover, it will be productive in Ukraine, where mushrooms and so grow in the wild. Of course, material costs and constant efforts are required, especially in the early years. But then it will all pay back, given the current cost of mushrooms.
Common hazel and stone and pedunculate oak, which are common in Ukraine, are suitable for this purpose. The seedlings of these trees are better suited for infection than young saplings, as they initially develop not the stem, but the root. Mycorrhiza will develop along with it.
For infection you need to buy mycelium of black truffle and process them seedlings. They are left for a couple of weeks in sterile conditions, giving mycelium an opportunity to take root. After that, seedlings are planted on a plot with prepared soil. Mycorrhiza finally survives during the year, until the shoots reach 20 cm in height, and the roots 50 cm in length. All this time you need to stick to quarantine.
Sprouts infected with mycelium truffles can be planted in open ground in late spring. The soil must be treated in advance with herbicides. ammonium glufosinate (it quickly decomposes in the ground).
Each seedling should have enough space, not more than 500 pieces per hectare. It is advisable to adhere to the scheme - 5 to 4 m. The depth of the hole is not less than 75 cm, so the root of the tree will be protected from frost and pests. Water is poured into the hole, the sprout is covered with earth, compacted and watered again. Under each plant, pour mulch from forest land with last year’s leaves within a radius of 40 cm and cover this area with a film.
The first two years after landing need to maintain sterility of the site. For this it is necessary to fight weeds. We can not allow the appearance of the main pests - rabbits and pigs, as well as insects dangerous for fungi - weevils and black cockroaches.
Fertilizing make complex NPK-fertilizer and a small amount of micronutrient fertilizers - iron, magnesium, zinc, boron and copper.