Jayson Mesman is the owner of Canberra’s premier truffle hunting destination, The Truffle Farm. We sat down with him to find out how important Canberra has been in the success of the farm and what the city means to him.
What makes the truffle farm so special to Canberra?
Truffles are one of those culinary diamonds that as we all know, have a very polarising price point and we’re trying to break that down to give them an everyday use. It’s about making farming and hunting for truffles fun and accessible. We’re giving people an idea of where their food comes from and they love it! Supermarkets have made it easy for us to buy a product without thinking about what it takes to get it to the shelves. So at The Truffle Farm we’re showing everyone just what’s involved and whatthe process ‘from paddock to plate’ actually means.
You have 7 dogs on the farm, how important have they been in building the farm?
We owe the farm to the dogs; they’ve literally paid for it. And I think people can see how incredible and important they are. From a 700 pound truffle on the surface to a tiny pea-sized one that’s a few centimetres down, they never stop amazing. Samson is the real star of the show; he’s found about seven tonne of truffle to date and that’s why he gets the honour of being our logo. It’s very rewarding. A number of them have been on death’s door, so it’s nice to know they’re now living a happy life with us.
What’s the best part about your work?
I love that I get to work outdoors, but I also love seeing how happy people are to be here. The farm has a community feel with lots of people working together and for us that’s exciting. It’s also exciting seeing the growth in Canberra and being able to help open it up to the world. It’s something that all Canberrans can be proud of and it’s probably my favourite part of what we’re doing.
How has Canberra helped in the success of the farm?
Owning a business in Canberra, we are lucky there’s always something to show people or something to do. We’re seeing a lot of people support the farm and be interested in what we do. Even though Canberra is a smaller city, there’s still that hustle and bustle around. Being able to drive five or ten minutes down the road and find a 120-acre farm in the middle of nowhere is pretty refreshing. We also get a lot of people coming from Sydney with international guests on holidays. People want to support a small business and enjoy the fact that they can escape the big city – and Canberra is great for that.
What do you love most about living in Canberra?
I was born and bred here and while I’ve been lucky enough to travel a bit for work, it’s always Canberra I come back to. I’m thankful that I get to wake up to 500 kangaroos in my backyard every morning. The commute is easy, everything is achievable and you can fit so many things into your day. It’s also the people. Everyone is so supportive in what we do – they always want to see you succeed. People are realising it’s a special place and they want to see it continue to grow.
For a peak into what Jayson’s life looks like, check out his People of CBR campaign video.