2021 season, June: New Online Store

Welcome to our new online store and News section.

Tuesday 29 June 2021

  • Store maintenance completed
  • Current Status Hunting Tuesday/Wednesday
  • Rabbit impact on truffles has lessened significantly, we'll now be able to list truffle packs etc.
  • Aiming for a mid week shipment by courier/hand
  • Private hunt events to be listed soon
  • Next Farmgate, Thursday evening 4-7pm

21 June 2021

  • Late afternoon hunt proved a likely supply of size and shapes in good quality is now available to support online ordering
  • Aust Post may have recovered from it's Covid and Power Outage impacts, but this will remain at customers risk outside Melbourne Metro hand/courier delivery
  • Further hunting Tuesday/Wednesday will confirm supply
    • hand delivery will remove problem of residual postal delays within Melbourne
    • courier option is also next day, integration into store remains to be completed, depending on available programming time
    • Current Priorities are, Past clients are #1, Farm Gate Supply, Regularly Ordering chef's, Online Sales, Export tyre kickers, Once off dinners... and small orders.
    • With Winter Solstice, the goalpoint of quality has been reached (last week even) and quantity of harvest will Rapidly increase from now on.  This will allow more specific orders such as online 30g, 50g etc and some more pedantic round, >40g type orders.
  • NEXT UPDATE Tuesday 22nd..., there's only 24 hrs in a day, and some are needed for sleep.

17 June 2021

  • Power restored, the electric fence is working again, but the rabbits have been having gourmet meals
  • Truffle hunting over past few days has harvested both "early truffle" and the start of the good stuff !
  • This Saturday-Tuesday is forecast to be 3 to 4 degrees, perfect truffle weather.
  • The Mad Hatter's tea party has lifted travel restrictions, perhaps the truffle rabbits put in a good word so....
  • WE WILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND -while we can!
  • Most truffle has significant cuts, which allows proper evaluation of the qualities that matter, Aroma and Colour(=Flavour)
  • Pretty round specimens, small inspection cuts, should be available within the next week. These are generally needed for online sales too, we'll evaluate quality and enable online purchase, shipping etc.
  • So now a hectic rush, make shed presentable, shop counter, signage, truffle grading, prepare to open online store. Write some further information on truffle grading, usage, etc. and a slew of lesser tasks. Truffle Season OPEN (and allowed !)

More News 13th June

  • As expected last weeks 140mm of rain has soaked the soil to the point there was no aroma for the dogs to find for past weekend (if you missed the instagram post update)
  • Last Wednesdays storm put most of the Yarra Valley without power. So, AusPost has a backlog of COVID shopping frenzy parcels to clear, and locally... no computer systems to handle them. Thus we wouldn't dream of sending by post this week. Our alternative will provide true next day delivery, so there may be some on offer later this week.
  • We are still without electricity and have been focusing on farm recovery tasks.
  • Current plans are to attempt hunting Monday-Wednesday and harvest or mark for later harvest this weekend.

News. 4th June 2021

  • The 2021 season has started early with greater exposure of truffle to early frosts resulting in more rapid ripening
    There was colour and some early quality aroma's 25th May 2021
  • However the latest Economy Breaker Lockdown restricts travel, and is impacting Australia Post again.
  • Early truffles are nice, unripe truffles are not. At this time of year there are a lot more unripe ones on the market than during the rest of the season. The clearest way to spot them aside from poor colour, is their cheap price!

What about the online store?

  • With such an early season, there is only a limited quantity of early truffle meeting our standards, with much of it damaged, thus it is too difficult for online supply with more specific size/shape requirements.
    Quality and quantity will improve rapidly over the next couple of weeks.
  • The Lockdown uncertainties, have lead us to focus on last minute orchard preparations instead, along with the farm gate facilities improvements/tidying :) and also this online store update.
  • Arrangements have been made for reliable delivery alternatives to Australia Post for both Melbourne and Victoria, they still need to be integrated into the new version of our store.
  • The new store is deliberately starting with a similar appearance to the older one, to save design time. We expect to evolve it through the season, including features like these news articles.
  • The underlying store code has been upgraded to a streamlined version.
  • Account customer's login's and order history have been preserved from the old store version

When will Farm Gate open?

  • Amongst our many predictions last year, and consideration of Covid and Government's ability to cope with it, was the expectation of these economy breakers, and a further chance of another severe July/August version which will even more be devastating to us than the current breaker. A week in truffle season is a month's income, one of the business risks of a short production season.
    Lockdowns here, and in other countries devastate the hospitality industry, and therefore the wholesale market demand for gourmet food items.
  • We already anticipated the current extension to Lockdown 4.0 and not being able to open 5/6 June,
    and we believe there is a strong possibility the Victorian Government will wish to prevent long weekend travel also.
    • Thus we tentatively plan to have our Farm Gate open 12/13 June, but will not invest a great deal of effort towards it. Instead working towards standby status.
    • Efforts will be focused on harvest and enabling the online store deliveries as soon as there's suitable supply.
    • 19/20 June should be a safe bet, and the truffles will be fantastic by then.
  • Contactless pickup proved to be useless last year, so there's no point in offering it, as even 50km radius struggles to support our business, let alone 5 or 10km restrictions.
  • Heightened consumer interest after lockdown will hopefully help our season, but there's been no chance to test that. The few weeks  we were open end of June last year indicate it may be good this year.