Mr Jomar, trufficulturist in Carpentras fuels his passion on his 2 hectares of land in the company of his indispensable assistant, named Mirette. That's how he's baptised his dog, raised since a puppy to be a truffles hound. Mirette is now an old hand at it. When her master decks himself out with a pouch and a pickaxe, to essential tool for rooting out the truffles from its lair, she knows. Facing the wind, she sniffs the air as she wanders through the woods. First stop: Mirette paws once at the ground and sits, waiting for her master. He finishes the job with the pickaxe: " It's a small one, but it will do nicely!".
Trufficulturist and his truffles hound
Treats for the truffles hound
Two treats for the dog, an affectionate stroke, and the hunt continues. « Go on, Mirette, I've paid ya!». "You know , as long as the dog is trained at a young age, whatever the race, he will be efficient". Mr Jomar, however, has a preference for female dogs which he considers more stable, less volatile and more keen. But on this point also, everyone has their own opinion and they diverge. A Labrador, for example, is highly rated in the truffles field, thanks to its exceptional nose, whatever the weather.
Although it is rarer in the Vaucluse - in Tricastin, certain trufflers still use a sow.
It's more cumbersome, but the sense of smell of a pig doesn't lose its fine edge as with a dog, who tires after two hours.
Nevertheless, the conclusion is the same for all trufficulturists: You have to be passionate for this occupation which carries some risks. The truffle is a seasonal product, you never know what the season promises: will it be a good one? Are the trees going to continue to produce? Will the new plant produce a good yield and when? So many questions which make it a fragile business for these farmers.
Many of them widen their activities to producing derivatives of the truffle, such as truffles oil, honey, pâtés and organizing "discovery" days for the public or offer an accommodation with truffle stays.
Truffle pig in Vaucluse