This simple question came up in conversation one day in 1992, when Tim Terry was on a fishing trip with a friend. Why couldn't a black truffle be grown in the southern hemisphere? How could it be done? Where would you begin?
That question set in motion a series of events that would culminate in the harvest of Australia's first black truffle, seven years later.
Tim was a lifelong farmer. He understood the soil, and the forces of nature that bring life to the land. But he'd never grown a crop like this. And the arcane knowledge of truffle growing was somewhere far away, in the forests of Europe.
Undeterred, Tim studied the traditional European art of truffle growing, and faced each challenge of producing this delicate fruit on the opposite side of the globe with a farmer’s tenacity, creativity and resourcefulness. With an inventiveness born out of necessity, Tim, and his wife Adele, brought their own innovations to the traditional method of growing truffles, pioneering new growing techniques to suit Tasmania’s unique climate, soil and growing conditions. It’s a skill that has now been passed down to the next generation of the Terry family – Henry and Anna.
Tim Terry’s question was answered in the winter of 1999. On the 18th of June, he became the first person and only person in Australia to produce a truffle in the 20th century.