In September, we posted about Francois Picart, a Frenchman who ventured to Dripping Springs in the 1980s and dared to try and cultivate the elusive truffle here in our limestone hills. Picart dreamed of making Dripping the truffle capital of the world, planting truffle spore-innoculated oak seedlings on property off of Prochnow Road and Bell Springs Road. Picart's "Agri-Truffle Inc", the American affiliate of the still-existing French concern "Agri-Truffe", eventually dissolved, but evidence of his grand experiment remains. While the trees planted on Prochnow are now gone, on Bell Springs Road, just barely visible behind a tree, is a sign identifying "Texas First Truffle Orchard" and past that, now a bit unruly and overgrown, sits a small orchard of those trees.
In our original post we asked if anyone knew more of Picart and his truffles. We were recently contacted by the wonderful Jim Swift of KXAN who let us know he did a report on Picart in the late 1980s. Jim came to Dripping last week to do a follow-up story which, as we understand it, should air on KXAN tonight during the 10:00PM broadcast.
UPDATE: Jim Swift's report just aired. We learned much more about Picart's efforts and experience here and the Babble even got a "shout out"! -- Thanks Jim and KXAN! If you missed the report tonight, visit KXAN.com for more.