Catching up #2: truffle luminaries

The Queen (Elizabeth 2nd of Great Britain) is a lucky woman: she has several birthdays. In NZ, her official birthday is celebrated with a holiday on a Monday in early June. Australia also celebrates Queen’s Birthday, but a week after NZ, which is when Britain does it (I think). And then she has a real birthday too, when Charles and Camilla probably turn up with a box of chocolates and some cool new music for Liz’s iPod. Queen’s Birthday weekend is when the NZ Truffle Association holds its Annual General Meeting and conference. This year was Christchurch’s turn, and getting it organised was one of the things that kept me off the net for most of May. Last year we invited two international speakers: neither made it. This year we tried again, and both made it. Christina Wedén flew in from Sweden to tell us how she had (almost) single-handedly created a truffle business on the Baltic island of Gotland, and Tim Terry, grower of Australia’s first Périgord black truffle, came over to tell us how good his season was going to be.


Christina and Tim (sorry Christina – but this photo is much better than the other one…)

We hosted them up at Limestone Hills for a couple of nights before the conference. Christina was keen to see our little aestivum/uncinatum truffiere (which includes trees infected with inoculum she provided), and Tim was only too happy to satisfy my curiosity about events on the other side of the Tasman (of which more later). Good company, and more invites I’d be a mug to ignore…

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