I’m applying for a Specialty Crop Block Grant to with the goal of determining what irrigation system is most beneficial to truffle orchards. The proposal includes sectioning a newly established orchard into four segments where differing irrigation methods will be applied. qPCR analysis will be done in various sections of the orchard at defined distances from the base of the tree to determine root spread and mychorizal colonization in the soil at the various distances. Weather and moisture records will be maintained and submitted to the TN Extension Office for delivery to the USDA and available to anyone interested.
If you are in TN, have a farm or other truffle interest (chef, nursery, foodie) and are interested in supporting the effort, please submit a letter of support to Elise@PerigordFarms.com. If there is enough interest I’d like to expand the study and reapply next year to include established farms in TN who have been using the same system for a few years. Participation, if the grant were selected, would include a funding request for the soil sampling, qPCR analysis, weather station (if necessary), and autmated moisture sensors (if necessary). Note that this grant is for TN, but I would love to hear from anyone else who is interested and may be applying for a grant in thier state.
Anyhow… I look forward to hearing from anyone interested. The deadline is March 8th to ensure I can incorporate any feedback by March 14th.