Sébastien Brun, Brulé Farms LLC
Tuber Melanosporum or Black Winter Perigord Truffle Orchard
Grant Award: $6,000
Leveraging knowledge gleaned from multiple truffle-growing workshops in France, Western North Carolina and both online and in person with the National Truffle Growers Association, Sébastien will plant 2-acre, high-density orchard of hazelnut and oak trees for the purpose of cultivating périgord truffles.
The grant paid for a drip-irrigation system, 250 trees, tractor equipment for liming and materials to install fencing. Western North Carolina is an excellent location for truffle cultivation as evidenced by trials conducted by Dr. Jeanine Davis at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River.
The first harvest is projected for late 2025, but Sébastien is already forming relationships with local restaurant, brewing and artisan food industries to create a market. He also plans to sell the truffles online and at the Sylva Farmers Market and is adding a U-pick apple orchard and bee hives toward adding agritourism and value-added products.