This week the Volterra staff in Palencia began planting to complement the trials in Catalonia as mentioned in other articles. The idea is to trial the new Cocoons also in other environments and Palencia is an interesting case given the intense summers (high temperatures and often 3 to 4 months without rain) and very arid, compacted soils.
In this experiment the Volterra team, together with subcontracted specialists, will plant Cocoons along keylines (height lines) with holm oaks innoculated with truffle spores. The goal is to see how the new Cocoons behave in this extreme environment on the one hand and to what degree the Cocoons can improve the probability of success of these type of plantations on the other hand. This would create a very interesting market opportunity as currently hundreds of hectares in Spain, Italy and South of France are used for truffle production. Often these plantations require expensive irrigation equipment which means the Cocoon could make the products more cost-competitive.