The lunar phases and the truffle
There is a very old tradition in our area, the Valnerina, which still follows the lunar calendar, the “moon phase almanac”, based on the experience of the old truffle hunters and fungi collectors. Although scientists in the sector do not appear to have much faith in it, “the lunar calendar” continues to be followed to exploit the influences of our satellite on the plant world and above all on the spontaneous truffle and on truffle cultivation. Therefore, the moon and the truffle, the moon and fungi are linked to the change in the moon’s phases. Obviously there are differences in ripening, as the truffle is a hypogeous fungus, underground, whereas true fungi are epigeal, on the surface. The lunar calendar, which is customarily used, differs from the normal way of calculating the best days for the truffle and fungi to mature. In addition to the moon’s phases both for the truffle and for fungi, we have to take many variables into account. First of all, for the fungus to develop well, we need to observe the humidity and temperature of the climate and the soil. Lastly, we need a suitable ecosystem, which creates the suitable environment for it to develop. The moon rotates around the earth at an average distance of 384,000 km, following an elliptic orbit. The closest point of the two planets is called the perigee and its distance is a little over 356000 km, whereas the furthest distance, known as the apogee, is slightly less than 407,000 km. As it rotates around the earth, it intersects the orbit of our planet. These intersections are called nodes and can occur in the ascending and descending phase, depending on whether the moon crosses the ecliptic from south to north, or from north to south. The line joining the nodes is called the node line. The moon always shows the same side to the earth, with which it indicates its position, and the phases follow according to its relation to the sun. To make it easier to understand, we are separating the lunar phases into four basic phases.