When the truffle hound has located the spot where a truffle is growing underground you next need to excavate it. Your primary considerations are doing as little damage as possible to the underground fungal threads (mycelium) and to the truffle itself. By being careful with the mycelium, you should be able to return to the same area later in the season or in future years. A whole and unmarked truffle is clearly preferable to one that is damaged. We have used a special French gardening hoe for many years and are now offering them for sale, they make an excellent truffle digging tool. They are a short wooden-handled tool with two “blades”, one with two prongs and a second, thin, flat, square one. The choice of blades makes them an ideal tool for delicately excavating truffles. While many such tools are dark green and brown this makes losing them on the woodland floor very easy, so these are very brightly coloured – bright orange!
As well as using as a truffle digging tool, they are a great multi-function tool for the garden. They can be used for weeding, creating rows, furrows or holes for seeds or plants, breaking lumps of soil and much more.