“Well since I was a young kid I had a farm view of the world, living with my folks.”“My parents grew up farming in Italy and their life was shaped around growing food sustainably and eating fresh foods off the land.”“I remember my father and me travelling 90kms out of Sydney with hessian bags to collect cow dung from farmers' properties. All to come back into our city suburban home to make compost!” ~ Carmine“At the heart of it, I am a city kid through and through, your heart can pull you in different directions… working on a farm is tough but being able to touch the dirt and soil; there is something so grounding about it, and right now in this part of my life, I appreciate it!” ~ CarmineFish River Truffles is located approx. 3 hours West of Sydney in the beautiful O’Connell Valley, Central West New South Wales.Carmine and his partner Leesa, along with the help of Frank and Luna their Golden Retrievers who sniff out the goodies, have been producing and selling Australian Black Winter Truffles (tuber melanosporum) to their local region and Sydney’s high-end hatted restaurants. Including a guest appearance on this year’s menu at Matt Moran’s restaurant Aria in Sydney.At the Fish River Truffles, the family believe in diversity. It’s the key to unlocking success in producing premium truffles that currently grow under three types of trees, Hazelnut, French and English Oak.When Carmine and his partner first bought the farm 9 years ago, they were confronted with weeds when trying to locate the truffles. As the previous owner had not practised consistent sustainable farming methods, they needed to look for solutions quickly. Truffles are prone to needing large amounts of alkaline in the soil to grow, keeping a PH above 7.8 is required.They found that rejuvenating the soil with leftover truffle mash helps maintain the fungus in the topsoil and some added lime helps with keeping the pH.The special relationship that exists between trees and truffles is not uncommon in nature. Many plants and trees have ‘mycorrhizal relationships’ with fungi (above and below the ground). These relationships are mutually beneficial, where the fungus facilitates water and nutrient uptake in the plant, and the plant provides food and nutrients created by photosynthesis to the fungus. This exchange is a significant factor in nutrient cycles, the evolution, ecology, and physiology of many plants both here in Australia and across the globe. In fact, they are vital to a healthy soil biome.It takes 3 to 4 years to produce truffles from newly inoculated trees and is a winter crop with harvests starting in early June and finishing in September.You can purchase within this period and Carmine says “Truffles have a deep aroma and strong fragrance that intensifies any dish you put it with.”The taste of black winter truffles is completely unique. Because of their flavour complexity and because they are full of umami, you can use them to intensify the flavour of a large range of ingredients in very remarkable ways. The fungus can be shaved delicately onto pasta, added to butter, and condiments, or infused in mayonnaises to dress up salads. For sweets, there is nothing more glorious than truffle ice-cream or honey.If you have any questions or would like to make any purchase orders when they are in season send a message to Fish River Truffles here.