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Oregon Native Truffles  RSS feed

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Does anyone out there have experience with the Oregon Native Truffles?  Cultivating, harvesting, using a dog to locate them, savoring them, etc.?   'Tis the season.
 
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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From my research I know we can grow them under Hazelnut trees after inoculating the roots with truffle.  However, the soil must remain undisturbed (can't even collect the nuts) for at least 3 years prior to the first attempt at harvest.  I am deeply interested in this as well.

Hmm, then again, I might be thinking of Non-native European truffles.  If I am wrong, it will be a good learning experience.
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I wouldn't imagine that training a dog to find mushrooms would be much of a chore at all (in fact, could be a whole lot of fun and rewarding for both handler and dog!).

Would consist of teaching the dog to "find" the mushrooms as well as teaching the dog to "alert" on the mushrooms. Personally, I wouldn't want a dog to dig up my truffles, I'd prefer to do that myself.

I use clicker training and positive training methods with my dogs. Makes it quick and easy to train. If I were training for shroom detection, I would probably utilize PVC pipe scent tubes, being careful not to contaminate them with my own scent (that's cause I'm a loser <VBG> I lose things (keys, debit card, flashlights... you name it, I lose it) and my dogs are expected to find them for me, so are trained to find objects with my scent. My old girl (will be 12 years old on Monday, happy birthday!) she is trained to find specific people based on a scent object, is trained to find nonspecific people (without a scent article, will find everyone with in a certain range). She's trained to find specific items ("it" which she has just been shown/allowed to smell. She is also trained to find "stuff"- "stuff" is tough and hard to train.. it means ANY ITEM with human scent. A couple of years ago she "cleared" a grocery store parking lot. The lost item, which we didn't have a scent for was a key to a post office box or safe deposit box (can't remember which), she found hair barrettes, pencils, ear rings, etc and everything she found she was a great girl and got lots of praise. Then she found the key! Not bad for an oldster with multiple health issues. Although active in Search and Rescue at one point in our lives, most of her training has been done for fun/entertainment of both of us.

Anyway, I would start with some scent tubes of PVC pipe... can go into more detail.. but just got interrupted. If anyone is interested in me continuing let me know and I'll finish later...

Thanks

 
Posts: 152
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I saw this event posted a couple of days ago and was reminded of it by this thread:

Truffle Dog Training Sponsored by the North American Truffling Society, Saturday, February 26, 2011, in Corvalis Oregon.

http://cascademyco.org/2011/02/truffle-dog-training-sponsored-by-the-north-american-truffling-society-saturday-february-26-2011/
 
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I thought pigs were the prime hunters for truffles. I know they are used in European countries often for that purpose. Having a pet pig would be a different experience for sure.

If you are in town I imagine there would be restrictions on having farm animals as pets. A dog is much more cuddly too.
 
                            
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Dogs do less damage to truffles when they find them.
 
                                      
Posts: 32
Location: East Grand Forks, Minnesota
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I can see that; pigs have hooves that would prolly bludgeon the crap out the truffles. Dogs do have claws but they are much smarter it seems than a pig.

I'm sure it would take a bunch of training but I have hunted with dogs that handle the pheasant with great care to not bury their teeth into the bird.
 
                            
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Dogs can "alert" on where the truffles are.... by sitting or barking or using a bringsel.
Pigs can be trained to alert too... but it's more difficult. They look for truffles because they like to eat them... whereas a dog is more likely to dig with it's paws in the ground when looking for something, a pig is more likely to root with it's nose and eat and swallow roots, tubers as they root. A truffle could disappear really fast to a pig.

If I were using a truffle dog, I would want the dog to "alert" on the truffle.... and I would want to dig it up personally to help minimize any inadvertent damage to the truffle.

That's just my two cents. I know dogs, I don't know truffles.
 
                                      
Posts: 32
Location: East Grand Forks, Minnesota
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Good points, I  can imagine getting really pissed off at your pig while hes eating hundreds of dollars worth of truffles haha.
 
Posts: 153
Location: Orgyen
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My farm is in Oregon's Coast Range. Oregon white truffles (Tuber gibbosum) grow in my main garden in well-limed soil in several spots from February till May. They are actually growing on the invasive roots of Douglas-fir trees that are growing around the north side of the garden. Since I don't have a dog, I rely on rodents and my own senses (and luck) to find them. I also heavily lime the areas where I have found them in the past to help them thrive. I've also started innoculating Doug-firs in pots with old truffles and then planting them in an area near an old unused gravel road. This has been a good year for truffles sofar, as I've found several nice ones. I've never found any black truffles, though. I also love to eat yellow and white chanterelles, which were also extremely abundant around here last fall. I water some of my chanterelle patches around the farm every summer, mulch them with fir branches and chips and put up some fencing or chicken wire to keep critters away. This way, I can begin harvesting chanterelles in June and continue harvesting till January. I get a nice harvest starting early, even in dry years. Chanterelles are difficult to cultivate from "scratch", but they thrive if established patches are given water, mulch and protection. BTW, European truffles are cultivated on Hazlenuts in France, but are extremely difficult to grow in the Northwest without the exact parameters for growth and a lot of luck, patience and skill. 
 
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July 24 , these fruiting fungi are growing in my riding ring after we spotted one last year and hoped to innoculate more wood fibre with it.  Can anyone help identify it as I believe it is Oregon black truffle? 



If so I would like to cultivate more of it and I am open to suggestions .  I spread a tiny sample on some more wood  fibre and the inside has a liquidy viscosity :

 
Franklin Stone
Posts: 152
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Looks like a slime mold to me, not a fungus at all. Truffles are typically underground.
 
Lisa Paulson
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It was identified as a black jelly fungus .  Learning something new every day    : )
 
Franklin Stone
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I have never seen any black jelly fungus that looks even remotely like what you have pictured. Jelly fungi typically grow on twigs or downed tree branches, not on chipped wood mulch.

It looks to me like it might be Lindbladia tubulina, a slime mold.

http://www.garnek.pl/kroton5/12687480/sluzowce-lindbladia-tubulina


Slime molds are not fungi. They are more like Amoebas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slime_mold

There are reports of some slime molds being eaten by people (after cooking) but I would advise caution.
 
Lisa Paulson
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You may well be right !  I think I have seen that slime mould before in the forest , it was almost pinkish and it could actually move slowly from one place to another?
 
Franklin Stone
Posts: 152
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Here's a white one I took a photo of:


white slime mold by frankenstoen, on Flickr

Slime molds are pretty darn strange. They crawl around like the Blob did in that movie.

If you have some time to kill, check out the Flickr slime mold photo pool:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/slime/pool/
 
Lisa Paulson
Posts: 258
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Wow life is fascinating !
 
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