Some Idaho farmers are experimenting with a new, potentially lucrative crop: truffles.
The Capital Press reports that there's no clear procedure for growing truffles, which can sell for between $500 and $1,200 a pound. The fungi grow underground in orchards planted with trees that have been inoculated with truffle spores.
The commercial truffle orchard is a new industry, so Idaho farmers like Paul Beckman are planting a variety of trees with different spacing and organization to figure out what works.
Beckman says he began trying to grow the delicacy, which he calls "Idaho's other tuber," nine years ago. He has planted 35 acres of truffle-inoculated trees north of Eagle, and other farmers followed his lead. There are now about 120 acres of truffle trees in southwestern Idaho's Treasure Valley.