Truffle-cultivation technique: hoeing

Although there has long been the belief that hoeing would damage the production of truffles, so much so that the law forbade “deep tillage”, the truffle-hunters in the Angellozzi family have since applied hoeing, given that they saw numerous productive and qualitative advantages from such harvesting technique, which would necessarily occur during the period of dormancy of plants. That is because, unlike the general idea, truffle-plantations and truffles themselves did benefit from hoeing. Indeed, the root system renews itself in what is considered to be a sort of pruning, by obtaining soil oxygenation at the same time. Furthermore, with tillage, soil becomes soft and that allows truffles to grow deeper into the ground, where truffles are able to overcome damages caused by prolonged drought, frost, and predator attacks. An additional aspect that cannot be neglected is that truffles can grow more freely in soft soil after tillage and have a more regular and round shape. In view of the experience they gained with the hoeing technique while harvesting truffles in natural forests since the 1980s, brothers Emidio and Zenobio applied hoeing in their truffle plantations right from the start. They would initially hoe by hand on their terraces in Vallicella, their home village, mechanically afterwards, by adapting rotating harrows between rows, which is able to meet the requirements mentioned above. In the video, one of the very first tests of the rotating harrow, with Giuseppe and his uncle Zenobio.

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