Owners of unproductive land are encouraged to grow ‘black diamonds’

A Bay of Plenty truffle company is sharing the secrets of the industry in a bid to get landowners growing ‘black diamonds’ across the country.

Ohiwa Black Diamond Truffles is receiving more than $155,000 of government funding over three years to share its knowledge with interested growers so New Zealand can grow enough truffles for a robust export industry. The business is also researching and developing new truffle products that incorporate the health benefits of truffles with traditional Māori healing.

The business is run by Ohiwa-based couple Matui Hudson and Annette Munday. Since partnering with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund last year, they have held three workshops on truffle growing, with more lined up over the coming weeks. Continue reading

Scientists campaign to have NZ fungi on global red list

Scientists are campaigning to have endangered fungi from across Australasia included in the Global Red List of threatened species.

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research mycologist Peter Buchanan has helped organise the first International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Red List Workshop on Australasia’s threatened fungi.

The workshop takes place on 22–26 July at the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.

The workshop will examine up to 100 potentially threatened species of fungi from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia, and evaluate their predicted survival against the international criteria set by IUCN for inclusion in the Global Red List. Continue reading