European farmer successfully grows black truffles on the edge of Africa

Farmer Volker Miros, nostalgic for his childhood mushroom picking with his grandfather in Germany, has chosen the plateau of the rocky mountains of Sederberg, two hours’ drive from Cape Town, South Africa, notes AFP in a report. The 81-year-old man pioneered South Africa’s truffle culture.

It took him six years of trial and error and tons of quicklime to correct the acidity of the soil before digging up the first truffles. Today he and his son have become the leading producer of black truffles in South Africa. He has almost 100 hectares planted with mushrooms. The highest yield is around 10 kilograms per hectare.

He sells the best quality truffles for 1155 euros a kilo, the same price as on the European market. Most of the buyers are high-end restaurants in the local tourist and wine region that are just getting to know truffles. “But it’s not a product for every chef,” says the farmer.