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Fabrice Caporal

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  • in reply to: Read me First: Forum Code of Conduct #10232
    Fabrice Caporal
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    in reply to: New Orchard Soil Prep #9683
    Fabrice Caporal
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    To have a soft soil you need a well structured soil and rototilling pulverized the soil structure. The pulverized soil may appear soft at first but at first rain it will reaggregate into a solid uniform hard pan with very little interstitial space for micro-ecology, aire and water. Organic mater and carful care of your soil structure are your best friends for a soft soil. I recommend doing a bit of web search about the importance of soil structure and the difference between soil structure and soil texture.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: New Orchard Soil Prep #9677
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Poplar and pine are both ectomycorrhizal species (see Type of Mycorrhisal Plants), so your soil will be naturally be rich in such fungus. You want to take actions to reduce the competitive pressure in favor of the truffle. My understanding is that in this situation you should try to remove as much as possible the existing roots, treat with lime to adjust your pH (if necessary) and let it rest for a while. Soil work should be to break any existing compaction pan fluff it up as much as you can without destroying the soil structure (no roto tilling).

    I hope this helps. Good luck.

    in reply to: ‘Buried Treasure’ – The Assembly NC #9177
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Article summary:

    With a hospitable climate and numerous success stories, North Carolina has become the hub of the country’s young truffle industry.

    in reply to: Soil Horizons: A Short Story #9174
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Like you, I am no expert, but your top horizon looks quite crumbly, I don’t know what you would gain with the subsoil. Was the water in the in the pit due to the rain or is it representative of your water table?

    in reply to: Orchard grass #8901
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I am a believer in the establishment of an ecosystem and the cover crop is a big part of it as it supports a whole world of organisms in the soil and in the orchard. I believe that such system will be more resilient and less inclined to major pest invasion. I am maybe naive, only time will tell.

    This is why in our orchard we favore regenerative practices and we have never used any herbicides or pesticides.  We try to promote the growth of  beneficial organisms control the other less beneficial.

    in reply to: Orchard grass #8889
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Hello,

    Note that the fescue took about 2 growing seasons to establish itself, so you may want to weigh in the benefits of plowing after the first season…

    in reply to: Subsoiling – Soil Compaction #8601
    Fabrice Caporal
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    This is true here to. Often people are uncomfortable of admitting not knowing… and not that many knows much about truffle farming. There is that nagging fear of being blamed for giving the wrong advice.  So they prefer to stay quiet.  You need to put on your common sens hat and try to transfer knowledge from other practices. Don’t ask about truffles, but rather ask about other techniques and don’t focus your attention on the what, but on the why…

    in reply to: Subsoiling – Soil Compaction #8594
    Fabrice Caporal
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    To pull a traditional subsoiler you need a very powerful and heavy machine. The chains of the Case will somewhat mitigate compaction. Further if you run it in good soil moisture condition you should be fine. We went that route.

    Alternatively you could look into the Yeomans plows. These can be harder to find but they are favored by the regenerative farming community and can be pulled by “regular” tractors.

    All that said the question is do you really need to subsoil your parcel? The only reason would be if you have a hard pan that needs breaking. Otherwise regular disking or chisel plow should do the job well…

    Hope this helps.

    [As always take my opinion just as is. I am no expert and have only limited experience]

    in reply to: Mulch Recommendations #8524
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Australians recommend for T. melanosporym to use black + white fabric. Black for obscurity and white to prevent over heating. In our orchard with T. melanosporum we used a layer of white fabric covered with lime gravel. In our orchard weeds are over taking the mats in the fourth season. We chose 4’x4′ mats as opposed to full strip for cost saving reasons. We were quite happy with our setup.

    Considerations to ponder. I heard that continuous mats are quite effrctive and you can place the irrigation under, but they also tend to become freeways for voles…

    In your cost estimate, you should not only include cost of material and labor to install, but cost of removal and disposal.  This is quite significant.

    I can’t speak to T. aestivum…

    in reply to: Tree spacing #8394
    Fabrice Caporal
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    It depends who you are talking to. French growers are now swearing by bonzification of trees. Others argue that over pruning cut the sugar supply to the truffle… others are saying that we are now getting too hot so some shade may help… I have not tested either way so I can’t say which is better. Do you have some productio. So you could test one way vs another?

    in reply to: Tree spacing #8387
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I am no truffle expert, but my understanding is that it is truffle species dependent.  For example T. aestivum, like shade, and apparently T. melanosporum, needs sun on the ground. You will have also to consider your local climate, it is also possible to have too much sun.

    in reply to: Truffle Market: North America #8179
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Hello Ruth,

    These are very important questions however you will find that answers are very hard to come by. Part of NATGA’s mission is to come up with the data, but it has been a challenging endeavor for multiple reasons.

    Secrecy. Traditional truffle production is associated with black market and hidden harvest spots. This is still ingrained in the practice. It will be very hard to get accurate numbers from the traditional channels.  Australian and to a certain extend Spaniards are changing that practice and recognize the value of an open market.

    Lack of production. In the North American continent production is only a very small proportion of the demand. So we don’t significant data on the supply side, beside import. Most volume imports is done by a handful of importers that are still very much intrenched in the old world “business” practices. Further, restaurants would gladly serve truffles if they could rely on a consistent supply of quality truffles. So current market size is grossly under estimated.

    Global import does not accurately distinguish truffles. As you know truffles are many different products and often they are amalgamated with mushrooms.  So I found using border control reports and such to be useless,  not even to get an idea of scales.

    Please share any information you would find this would be a grate service to the community.

    in reply to: Orchard grass #7800
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Can you share your seed mix?

    in reply to: Orchard grass #7798
    Fabrice Caporal
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    This year we have decided to let the cover crop go to seed and to carefully manage the self seeding. We have a great take on the reseeding so we will not plow/seed this season.

    in reply to: Felco Powerblade electric shear #7796
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I second Staci’s comments. We have two pairs of the 812 and used them last season. I don’t think we could have pruned the 1,000 trees we did last year without these tools. Oak is a hard wood and we don’t have the forearm strength. The 812 is not too heavy for a day long use and it is powerful enough to go through quite thick wood. We have both extension size but did not need them last year.

    This year will be a different story. We are getting ready to prune the orchard next week… And this time around we will have 3,600 trees to prune! We are going to top the tallest tree but for those we probably will use a pole rather than the sheers.

    in reply to: French selling Spanish truffles #7100
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Thank you for sharing. The original article has videos from the original TV documentary. It is in Spanish but quite entertaining.

     

    in reply to: Truffles, of course #7095
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I did not understand Rowan great presentation that way. What I understood when he talk about diversity was to recognize all the other species of truffles the US have (pecans, appalachian, oregon…) and to bring them at the same level than T. melanosporum or T. magnatum. He is all about breaking the stuffiness of the old world tradition, and I could not agree more with him.

    He is about educating and clarity and accuracy. He is certainly not about confusing the consumer and I am pretty sure he is about “calling an apple an apple” and he would discourage all attempts at inventing new names.

    California wine were successful at affirming themselves in the world and to be recognized as fair competitors to the Bordeaux and the Bourgognes, without having to reject its european origins. Truffle are the same. We can evolve and develop our own identity without having to reject our origins. We can be vibrant, endorse diversity, and accessible by standing on the shoulder of the old world.

    This is a very important discussion and if you are ok, I would like to transpose it on the forum so that the community could contribute. Fran and Brian I have your permission to transpose this content?

    in reply to: Online reference site #7014
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Thank you for sharing this resource. Unfortunately these pages have so much commercial that it is very distracting from the real content…

    in reply to: Supply #6995
    Fabrice Caporal
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    In my humble opinion you can probably purchase truffles from any distributor as long as you make sure that they are ripe and of the right species. Once you receive your truffles, smell and color should tell you about the ripeness.  Then you should take a piece of each truffle and have it DNA tested as well as spore checked by a speciality lab to confirm the species, especially if you are planning to work with black truffles.

    For the lab I have been working with Inga Meadows of North Carolina State University, but there are other labs able to do this work.

    in reply to: Growing truffles in Milwaukee, WI? #6817
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I can’t claim to be a truffle expert but that said, my understanding is that the burgundy truffles can handle frost as they are harvested during the late summer months.
    There are also the native Appalachian Truffles that are prized but are not yet well known that can grow up north.
    Good luck,
    Fabrice
    in reply to: Soils tests #6811
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Hello Holly,

    I have been asking similar questions since we have started and the best answer I have received was “I don’t know”… There are some data for European conditions but those don’t really transfer to us. They live on calcareous soils and we often recourse to amending with lime. The soil type will directly impact the ability for the plant to absorb the nutrients.

    We don’t have enough data. We have relatively few producing orchards, and many of us are resisting sharing the little information we have. So much so that some are even trying to turn this confusion into a lucrative advantage and provide advices only under the veil of non disclosure agreements. I think these short sighted approaches are counter productive are destined to fail. Who is to tell that there assumptions are correct? Because of the secrecy there findings will not properly peered reviewed and will derive from a smaller pool of information.

    This is why efforts like the North American Truffle Survey Database are so important. Right now most of us are shooting in the dark. Only with appropriate information sharing we may discover why some of us hit the target, and what elements are actually relevant to a producing Orchard.

    in reply to: MSU webinar series on biochar #6763
    Fabrice Caporal
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    We have been considering converting our pruning material into biochar and bringing it back into the orchard through innoculation. We are not sure if it will be “doable” because of the amount of work involved.

    The Kon-Tiki biochar kilns look very promising, have anyone try it?

    in reply to: Transplant Trees #6747
    Fabrice Caporal
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    I would say it depends on the species of trees. Oak trees are tapped root so they would be difficult to transplant without major damage to the root system. The other consideration is that you want to transplants the tree root tips which host the truffle, and those would most likely stay behind in the digging process. I think you would probably better off replanting a 1-2 year old tree. This is what we are doing for our “gophered” trees.

    in reply to: Growing Truffles in Alabama? #6533
    Fabrice Caporal
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    Welcome to the forum Mel. Let me copy here the answer I gave you on email.

    To my knowledge we don’t have members from Alabama, but we do have members in Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia, so I would assume that you could probably grow truffles in Alabama. There are many different truffle species to consider and my understanding is that the Pecan Truffles are endemic to your region.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 44 total)