This Templeton Farmer Hopes to Make a Killing With Rare “Black Diamond” Truffles

It’s a risky move that could bring handsome rewards.

When Tim Boatman considered what to do with five acres of his open land just outside of San Luis Obispo, he knew it needed to grow something different. “’I didn’t want to plant more grapes, and I didn’t want to plant olives or pomegranates because it’s all been done,’ Boatman told The Tribune. But when a friend suggested black truffles, he became intrigued, even though he had no idea what they were.

“The popularity of the ‘black diamond’ truffle, which can fetch up to $900 per pound on the open market, has exploded alongside fine dining and created high demand in the United States in recent years. The problem for American chefs is distance. By the time black truffles arrive at restaurants, a process that can take anywhere from five days to three weeks, their unique and pungent flavor is greatly diminished.”

Although it can take several years for truffles to grow on the roots of his oak trees, Boatman hopes that early signs point to a successful future for the delicacies on his land. He even employed Stella, a four-year old lab, to begin training for eventual hunting. Will his gamble pay off?

Read more about the Périgord black diamond truffle and Boatman’s prospects here.