When Andres Haas and wife Lynette first thought about growing this subterranean treat, Victorian truffle production lagged the rest of the nation. So it was quite a coup for the chefs of Ballarat, not to mention the local foodies, when Andres and Lynette ‘literally stumbled upon a small cottage in Wattle Flat and fell in love with it immediately’.
Their plans for a small manageable plantation were quickly superseded by their adoration for their new land. “At first it was a ‘sensible’ 5 to 10 vacant acres to build an ecologically sustainable house and plant maybe 400 trees – an easy hobby farm,” said Andres. But after purchasing their Wattle Flat property, “building became extending, and 400 became 1000, and with no farm experience to speak of we launched into truffles at full tilt,” he explained.