Producing Truffles and providing farmers with the pollination tools to improve their alfalfa seed and orchard harvests.
Bella Vista Farms suffered range fires in 2010. We lost irrigation equipment and a few trees. In the spring of 2015, we planted trees in pastures containing horses. Pierre Sourzat, a truffle researcher in France, is conducting research with horse manure in France. He believes that this may be the main reason for reduced production of truffles in France is because of the reduced use of horse manure which contains some beneficial enzymes. We will duplicate research in our Idaho soil to see if we notice any differences.
We have planted 5 types of truffles innoculated on 4 types of trees. We plant additional trees every year.
We have been developing commercial nesting materials for Blue Orchard Mason Bees. Honey Bees have been struggling for the past decade. We are working to find native bee alternatives to replace honey bees.
We grow Leaf Cutter Bees as Honey Bee replacement as well.
Breeding these beautiful horses for the dressage and jumping arenas is our goal.
We buy weanling calves from a breeder who crosses Angus and Waygu breeds and then let them graze for a few months before we put them on a "all you can eat" formula from Zamzows feed mill specially formulated for us.
After the range fire in 2010, we replanted a mixture of crested wheat grasses to try and replace the volatile cheat grass that was prevalent. We intensively graze areas close to the truffle orchards in the spring to remove as much seeding cheat grass as possible. We also plant many native plants to provide bloom for native bees. We have planted forage kochia as a fire break but have not had much luck in getting it established. The same for a new grass called Buffalo grass that takes limited rainfall. Hopefully this year as we add irrigation to some of these areas we can try these plants. Also look for news about experiments with other mushroom types.
On February 12, 2012, the first Western Hemisphere cultivated Bianchetto truffle (aka Tuber borchii, Italian spring white truffle or Tuscany white truffle) was harvested in a truffle orchard near Boise, Idaho. This was harvested under a tree that was planted in the spring of 2008. Paul Beckman and Brad Sprenger were hunting for truffles with Sophia (a Lagotto Romagnolo or Italian Truffle Dog) on Beckman’s farm. While Mr. Beckman is testing five different truffle varieties in his orchard, they were specifically focused on hunting the Bianchetto truffle because this variety matures in the spring. Sophie identified the Bianchetto truffle at a depth of about 8”underground. Beckman, Sprenger and several other Boise area farmers have planted thousands of trees inoculated by Dr. Charles Lefevre at New World Truffieres in Eugene, Oregon. Eugene is also home to the Oregon Truffle Festival where most of the Idaho growers have gathered to learn the art of truffle growing. Every year truffle experts from around the world are brought in for these grower seminars. A majority of these experts have ties to the mycology department at Oregon State University. Most inoculated trees are European hazelnut, but several oak tree varieties, including English, Burr , and Chinquapin, have also been planted. The Idaho group hopes to bring Idaho to the international stage as a key producer of this gourmet delicacy and bring a healthy competition to their eastern counterparts such as Dr Tom Michaels of Tennessee Truffles, the first commercial grower in the US. He has been producing the French Perigord black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) since 2007. For more information contact Dr. Charles Lefevre at www.truffletree.com/ , Dr. Tom Michaels at http://tennesseetruffle.com/shop/ - , or Paul Beckman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have 5 types of truffles innoculated on 4 types of trees. We plant additional trees every year.
We grow Blue Orchard Mason Bees and Leaf Cutter Bees as native bee alternatives to replace Honey Bees.
Breeding beautiful horses for dressage and jumping arenas is our goal.
We buy weanling calves from a breeder who crosses Angus and Waygu breeds.