September 29, 2017

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

The first time I sat down to chat with Jayson Mesman, one of the owners of The Truffle Farm in Canberra, was while I was working in the Events Team at Parliament House. I had briefly met him a couple of times at Truffle Dinners around town, so I knew he worked for the AFP training canines, but he also had a special affinity with rescue dogs and trained them to be Truffle Hunt Dogs.

Even with all that information on-board, I wasn’t prepared for the tough Policeman walking towards me with a cute little puppy dutifully following wearing a Learners police dog coat, they were doing a familiarisation walk around Parliament House and on duty! By day Jayson trains security dogs and after hours runs the truffière and hosts Truffle Hunts with “The Pack” – a growing collection of stunning Truffle Dogs.

I was already a big fan of Black Truffles with their dazzling, irresistible aroma and have since enjoyed MANY taste explosion, get in my belly delicious meals at ‘The Truffle Shed’, prepared by the farms very own award winning chef Damien Brabender.

Being truly besotted with my own pooch pal, Little Chef the dog, I wanted to know more about ‘The Pack’ and the inspiration behind creating the only Truffle Farm in Australia’s capital city, set amongst the foothills of Mount Majura.

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

We have nothing to lose and a world to see! 🌏 🌏 🌏

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

Don’t call it a dream. Call it a plan! 💫💫💫 S E R I O U S L Y… Plan on visiting The Truffle Farm in 2018.

Now it’s no surprise to know that Jayson’s truffle story starts with a dog, but not just any dog my friends, a  beautiful black rescue Labrador named Samson who got Jayson into truffle farming in the first place.

Samson & Simba #mansbestfriend Photo by who else but @leantimms

A post shared by The Truffle Farm (@thetrufflefarm) on

Together they discovered their truffle hunting talent when the inseparable pair were invited to the largest truffle farm in the world, The Truffle & Wine Co. in Western Australia to see if they could make it as a truffle hunting team back in 2007. Within 10 minutes Samson had found several kilos of truffles and a new career was born! All these years later, Samson has been Jayson’s sidekick and pack leader of the ‘farm hands’ comprising of seven amazing rescue dogs – Simba, Nala, Willow, Bear, Dingo and Max.

When you have to take your eight kids for a walk….

A post shared by The Truffle Farm (@thetrufflefarm) on

The last time I visited The Truffle Farm in Canberra, The Pack had grown to accommodate some adorable rescue pigs named Winnie, Piglet and Olivia (who can jump fences just like the dogs) that dig up the unformed and rotten truffles at the end of the season, and Peking the duck.

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

Winnie & Piglet munching on some dinner!

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

Olivia the escape artist truffle pig who is determined to be a dog! 🐖🐖 🐖

Samson took it all in his stride, seemingly unaware of how he had shaped the destiny of a family and inspired the booming Truffle Farm in Canberra to launch in 2016, much to the delight of gastronomers far and wide.

The Truffle Farm has been named by Australian Traveller as one of the top 10 ways to enjoy Australia like a gastronome! So…. If you’re ever in Canberra during Truffle season and want to experience a true paddock to plate experience then there is only one place to go, The Truffle Farm in Canberra, where you can join in on a truffle hunt and then head back to The Truffle Shed to experience extravagant degustation menus.

Samson and The Truffle Farm in Canberra. Anna Johnston -

Happiness is….. having unicorns as friends!

shenANNAgans was a guest of The Truffle Farm in Canberra (MANY TIMES – Thanks Jayson) but all opinions remain her own.

The Truffle Farm in Canberra

Address: 23 Mount Majura Road, Majura, ACT, 2903
Phone: +61 400 483 082

It’s with a heavy heart that last Tuesday morning Jayson said goodbye to Samson. Everyone who was blessed to meet this amazing animal and see him in action are saddened by the sudden and tragic passing of this truly incredible dog.

RIP Samson, you have left behind a legend, but The Pack will carry on just as you have taught them to. And to you Jayson, my friend, we raise a truffle loaded Canberra gin in honour of your Samson, and send you BIG sparkly UNICORN kisses with a dash of SASS and MANY sprinkles of LOVE! xxx

So tell me dear reader, have you ever been truffle hunting? And what are some of the most amazing taste explosion, get in your belly delicious meals you’ve eaten or wanted to eat? 


shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Primoz - December 9, 2018 Reply

What an art. Samson was the best!

    Anna - December 12, 2018 Reply

    Samson really was the best! 🙂

Ala - February 21, 2018 Reply

I know it’s been a while since you’ve updated, but I thought of you recently because a friend of mine (whom I met in Dublin!) sent me an AMAZING care package from Australia! It came for Australia Day and included a full-sized Aussie flag, a book of Aussie slang, an adorable kangaroo plushie, and tons of Aussie treats (Vegemite + Freddos + TimTams???). Anyway, just wanted to give you a holler since it’s been a while and I miss seeing your updates (not that I’ve been great about my own). Hope life is treating you well!!!

Adrenaline Romance - December 7, 2017 Reply

Wow! I’ve always wanted to know how truffle tastes like. It would really be great to see how such rare food is harvested.

Food Shot - November 27, 2017 Reply

A truffle farm with a tour?! I don’t think I need to question whether or not I want to go. I MUST! Oh poor Samson, my heart 🙁
Thanks for sharing Anna!

Andreya - November 18, 2017 Reply

Lovely post Anna, hope you people had a good time on this trip and very sad about Samson.
All your IG images look great, especially I loved ” When you have to take your eight kids for a walk” image. it’s so funny 🙂

Liz (Good Things) - November 4, 2017 Reply

RIP dear Samson… such a beautiful dog, he will be missed. xx

John/Kitchen Riffs - October 11, 2017 Reply

Truffles? Yes, please. 🙂 Sounds like a fun tour — thanks!

    Anna - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Hahaha… I am with you re the truffles John! 🙂 And yes, it is a fantastic tour, but honestly, any tour that ends with you stuffing your pie hole with truffle is a winner in my books.

Mabel Kwong - October 9, 2017 Reply

RIP Samson 🙁 Sad to hear of his passing but he sounded every bit the dog who lived his dog life to the fullest. Don’t think many dogs can claim they helped started a truffle farm. He will be missed but certainly remembered. He looked so cute posing for your photos 🙂 <3 Big hugs your way and to the clan at the truffle farm <3

    Anna - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Thanks Miss Mabel for your thoughtful comment, for the hugs and well wishes for the folk at the Truffle Farm. You are just the BEST! xxx

Amanda - October 9, 2017 Reply

Oh, that is so very sad. We lost both of our old dogs earlier this year – it’s a hard thing to get used to.

    Anna - October 11, 2017 Reply

    It is incredibly sad, but also a pretty spectacular story of a dog who changed the lives of his humans. 🙂
    I am sorry for your loss Amanda, I get teary hearing about anyone who loses a furry friend. xx

mjskitchen - October 7, 2017 Reply

A very interesting post with a sad ending. 🙁 Believe it or not, I don’t believe I have ever eaten truffle. I hear A LOT about it and would like to just taste a slice. The story of using dogs to find them is fascinating. These seem like very special puppies. Love the picture with the little kid and the dogs. 🙂 So sorry for the loss of Samson.

    Anna - October 11, 2017 Reply

    MJ, you totes need to get on trying you some truffle. Wonder where the closest truffle farm is to you?
    Jayson and his dogs are a beautiful story, I think I’ve heard it about 20 times at different events, and I still love hearing it.
    Haha… the picture with the child and pups is fab huh? Def one of my faves too.

Jennifer Melroy - October 5, 2017 Reply

I hate to say this but truffle pigs aren’t nearly as cute as truffle dogs. It’s still amazing that they can train pigs to smell truffles out.

    Anna - October 11, 2017 Reply

    Teehee… I totes agree with you Jennifer, truffle pigs are nowhere near as cute as truffle dogs. But like you, it is fascinating that a pig can be trained to truffle hunt. 🙂

Vicky and Buddy - October 5, 2017 Reply

Aww, so sad to hear that Samson passed away. He will definitely be missed, but his legacy will live on. It’s nice that you’re telling his story and the story of the truffle farm. I’ll definitely try to check it out when I finally visit Canberra.

    Anna - October 5, 2017 Reply

    It’s incredibly sad, but also amazing all that he did for Jayson and family. He is a pretty special animal doing that. 🙂 Oh I do hope you visit the farm, I know you’ll have a wonderful time. xx

Laura Lynch - October 4, 2017 Reply

That photo with the dogs and the kid is priceless. I’m not a huge truffle fan, to be honest, but I do think it would be a great gastronomy activity, which I am a huge fan of! I would definitely do that while in Canberra.

    Anna - October 5, 2017 Reply

    Haha… yep, I love that photo too! 🙂 It’s a cool tour/activity to do even if you’re not a huge fan of truffle. Spending time hunting in the paddock with Jayson and the dogs, then eating amazing food. Can’t go wrong… riiiight?!? Ha.

Jenna - October 4, 2017 Reply

Yum!! I love truffles–they are so delicious!! I’ve always wanted to go truffle hunting but haven’t had a chance to go yet. Will have to check this out next time we are in the area for sure! Looks like such a fun adventure!

    Anna - October 5, 2017 Reply

    Promise to tell me about your experience at the farm when you go Jenna. 🙂

carla - October 4, 2017 Reply

Loved your instagram photos! I am now a follower! Keep it up.

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    Awhh, thanks Carla. I shall look out for your pics on IG too.

Elisa - October 4, 2017 Reply

Wow I would have never associated truffles with Australia but you even have the largest truffle farm in the world in the country! I am not fan of truffles (good for my pockets) but I would like to try the truffle hunting with Simba 🙂

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    It’s funny that you were amazed that Australia has the largest Truffle Farm in the world as I was too when I first learned that. We don’t really associate Truffles with down under do we? Simba is beautiful too, in fact they all are. Such a great “Pack”

Claudia - October 4, 2017 Reply

Love your food porn shots, but really love the sweet photos of Samson, so sad that he has passed. I had no idea that Australia had truffles (thought it was just in Italy), and that you could visit this Farm to enjoy that experience – very unique and cool!

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    I agree, Australia is such a huge country with many varied and different climates so I guess somewhere in this vast land there is the perfect place for Truffles here too. Yes, it was indeed so sad and he was such a cool dog that inspired so many people in his short life.

Jennifer - October 4, 2017 Reply

Truffles grow naturally in the region of France that I live in and it’s just about truffle season. There will be festivals and many menus will feature truffle dishes. I like to buy one and keep it in the freezer to shave over pasta. It’s a quick and elegant meal.

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    When I lived in Canberra I used to love Truffle season for all the amazing food where truffles featured too. We didn’t have Truffle Festivals though, that’d be fun to experience. I think truffles are perfect for pasta and risotto, I always make those dishes when truffle season is on.

Jitaditya Narzary - October 4, 2017 Reply

This post was obviously hilarious but it was also informative for me. Frankly, you may find it strange but I did not exactly know what truffles were before reading this post. Of course, I knew the word but not something that is easily available in my place.

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    Thanks so much for your comment Jitaditya, I’m so glad you found it educational and fun. Always love getting feedback like this.

Sandy N Vyjay - October 4, 2017 Reply

The Truffle farm is unique in many ways. I was fascinated by the truffles and the beautiful dogs. I was also for some reason reminded of Old MacDonald’s farm. Loved reading the narrative and the pictures that bring alive the farm in vivid detail.

    Anna - October 4, 2017 Reply

    Thank you Sandy, The Truffle Farm very well could become Old MacDonald’s farm couldn’t it as there is always a place for beautiful rescue animals and Jayson is such a great trainer I’m sure he’d have them up and working in no time.

Paige W - October 3, 2017 Reply

Oh my gosh that IG caption about your ex and the sausage roll had my laughing soooo hard. I’ve never been truffle hunting, but I do love truffles. This looks like a great place to give it a go. So sad about Samson. 🙁

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Yes, so sad about Samson. I am wondering how his Pack are going too. Yep, I have a bit of fun on IG sometimes, all in good fun though.

Anneklien Meanne - October 3, 2017 Reply

I never tried visiting truffle farm, but I’ve seen a documentary about it. It’s amazing how they train dogs to find truffles. What a lovely tribute ending to the dog.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Truffle Farms seem to have sprung up in Australia over the last few years, they need a certain type of soil so I guess if the dirt says it’s a go-er, then Truffle Farms are a great option and very lucrative given the price of Truffles. I think the Truffle Farm will miss Samson too.

Rhonda Albom - October 3, 2017 Reply

I’ve never really considered how truffles grow, so this was a bit of an eye-opener. RIP to Samson. He looked like an incredible dog. I’m not a huge fan of animals because of allergies, but my daughter loves dogs and constantly wants to pet them. I’m sure she would have been the same if she had gotten the chance to meet Samson.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    That’s great that you’ve educated yourself just a little bit more about Truffle farming, it’s all quite interesting isn’t how certain produce becomes elite and worth so much. Sorry to hear you get allergies around dogs, I think I’d just hate that as I’m a huge dog person.

Megan Jerrard - October 3, 2017 Reply

I had no idea that the foothills of Mount Majura had a truffle farm! So sorry to hear that Samson passed away – he sounded like a remarkable dog. I will definitely visit on our next trip home to Canberra, and check in on the pack!!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    I would love it if you visited Meg, just let me know in advance & I know Jayson will pull out all the stops. It’s a great experience to see The Pack in action (although usually only 1 dog works at a time), but they all have their jobs. I hope The Pack find their new levels without Samson, he had big paws to fill methinks.

Candiss - October 3, 2017 Reply

I don’t think I could craft a better experience than truffle hunting with a pack of lovely dogs and then eating the rewards at a lovely meal later. If I am ever in Canberra and during truffle season I will definitely be making a stop! Also very sad news about Samson he seemed like such a lovely dog! 🙁

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    AWESOME Candiss, I reckon you should totes make a visit to Canberra, and a hunt at The Truffle Farm something you do like first thing next winter. 🙂 I know you’ll have the BEST time! And it is incredibly sad news about Samson, but he has left everyone who met him with lovely memories, and an amazing legacy.

Serina - October 3, 2017 Reply

So sorry to hear of Samson’s passing. RIP

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    It is incredibly sad, but Samson sure has left behind a legacy! 🙂

Lydia Smith - October 3, 2017 Reply

Never had a truffle farm treat but with your poat I’m longing for one. Not for the food part(though I can’t deny that’s topping my list) but I’d love to see the animals in their bonds. Wish Samson was still there, it would be nice to see the eight of them doing their thing. And the black of Samson is really beautiful. Olivia’s wanting to be a dog is funny. As if feeding on dogs’ meal can make her one. Haha

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Yes, seeing Jayson work with the dogs and pigs too, is incredible. I remember one of the hunts I did, Olivia the pig jumped the fence and came down to join us. It was pretty fun! 🙂 Finishing the hunt with an amazing feed in the truffle shed was beyond awesome too. It is an experience I am not sure will get old. Hope one day soon you can visit The Truffle Farm and experience the dogs in all their truffle hunting glory. xxx

Nisha - October 3, 2017 Reply

Kudos to Samson! He made it all the more exciting. He had a bright shining coat.
No, I haven’t had Truffles and didn’t know there could be a truffle dog too!

Sad to know about his departure. May his soul RIP.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Samson is a total legend and absolutely made the story of The Truffle Farm an exciting one. I agree about his coat too, very shiny!
    Truffles are delicious, I do hope you get to try one some time soon.

Sue - October 3, 2017 Reply

So very sorry to hear of Samson’s sudden passing. What a sad time. I had no idea dogs could be trained for truffle hunting.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Very sad Sue! Samson created a whole lot of magic and shaped the lives of Jayson and his family, so Samson leaves behind one heck of a legacy. 🙂

amit - October 3, 2017 Reply

When I lived and traveled in Australia, I had gone through Canberra a few times but I had no idea they farmed truffles there if I had known I would have stopped by haha. Also I have to say as the owner of a chocolate lab (aptly named fudge) I love labs and seems like Samson was a real legend 😀

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Sounds like you are going to have to visit Canberra again Amit, a visit to The Truffle Farm should be ticked off everyone’s bucket list. 🙂
    Give Fudge an extra long cuddle tonight in honour of Samson. xx

Elaine J Masters - October 3, 2017 Reply

What a cool undertaking. I adore truffle anything so it’s wonderful to learn about the farm and how it came to be. Wonderful that the pack is adopted. Heartbreaking to RIP Samson, who started it all. Makes me wish I were closer to Australia!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    I’m with you Elaine, truffle anything is AMAZING. Especially love it in sweet treats. 🙂
    Jayson is a special human creating what he has with the farm, and Samson was a lucky boy indeed to score him as his owner.
    Hope you can visit The Truffle Farm when you are next in Australia. xx

Kate - October 3, 2017 Reply

I’ve never been to a truffle farm but, I sure love truffles. I love this post… and the look of that fig scone. Yum. I had a beagle/basset growing up so, I know the power of a pup nose. These dogs look they are really well trained.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    The dogs are super well trained Kate, it’s impressive to see Jayson work with them all and the way they respond.
    And all the yes to the scone with fig and truffle cream. YARM!

melody pittman - October 3, 2017 Reply

What a very cool post (because I love truffles) and then a heartbreaking ending. I felt like I knew that great dog Samson. A nice read and appreciate your sharing. By the way, that sausage and truffle roll photo should be illegal. Yum!!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    That’s beautiful Melody, a lot of people felt like they knew Samson. 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed the post, particularly, my cheeky truffle sausage roll update.

Rosemary - October 3, 2017 Reply

What a beautiful yet tragic story – Samson the truffle dog. I love truffle inspired dishes and your Instagram pics are not only drool-worthy but hilarious.”Why can’t we eat the shiit we want and still stay skinny?” I’d love to go truffle hunting and I’m glad Samson left a legacy 🙂 Fun to read!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Hahaha… glad my post hit you in the feels Rosemary! 🙂

Dave Briggs - October 3, 2017 Reply

This sounds like a very interesting place to visit, and I honestly didn’t even realise that Australia had the right environment for truffles – You live and you learn! So sad to hear of Samson at the end, but this blog post is certainly a good way to immortalise him.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    It’s an incredible place to visit, and yes, there are a number of places in Australia that are suitable for truffles to grow.
    Glad you enjoyed the post, hopefully you make it down under some time soon for a visit to The Truffle Farm. 🙂

Denise Browning - October 2, 2017 Reply

Lucky girl! I wish I could go hunt truffles on that farm. What an unique adventure… and quite tasty too! Hope you are doing well. Sending you hugs from TX.

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Every time I visited the farm, it was a fun and unique experience. Cant wait to go again in 2018. 🙂
    Doing amazing my friend, and big squishy hugs headed back at you. xox

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - October 2, 2017 Reply

That made me teary about Samson but what a life he had. I’ve wanted to do this for so long. It would be such a good experience, not to mention tasty!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    It makes me teary thinking about Samson too, what a wonderful legacy he leaves, and SO MANY amazing memories for everyone that met him.
    Visit The Truffle Farm Jem, you’ll LOVE it! 🙂

anto - October 2, 2017 Reply

I never knew about this. I have been on a truffle hunt recently in Italy and loved how the dogs found them there 🙂

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    Ooooh, how cool you went truffle hunting in Italy, what a wonderful experience. 🙂

Rosemarie - October 2, 2017 Reply

I have always read such wonderful things about this experience and it has been on my list of to do things for so long. I will have to change that!

    Anna - October 3, 2017 Reply

    YEAS Rose, you really, really, really must get on a visit to The Truffle Farm. Make sure it happens in 2018, aight! 🙂

Julie - October 2, 2017 Reply

I have only visited Canberra for work and had no idea that truffles were farmed there. A lovely story of Samson’s truffle hunting days. On my list for my next visit.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Awesome Julie, i do hope you can visit The Truffle Farm next time you are in Canberra, make sure its during the winter months. I know it will absolutely make your trip. 🙂

Simon - October 2, 2017 Reply

I have heard about truffles, but I have never eaten them and I don’t know what they taste like. Having said that, this article is like a George Orwell story. It is filled with characters like Winnie, Piglet Samson and Simba. I wonder what Jayson gives to those dogs because their coats are so shiny. Sad to read about the passing of Samson as well.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    I think truffles taste like an earthy mushroom of sorts. If you love mushrooms, you’d love the taste of truffles. Yes, agree – The Truffle Farm has certainly got a caste of characters living there and I bet over the years there will be many more rescue animals that find much to their delight a home there.

Shibani - October 2, 2017 Reply

Honestly till date I had literally no idea about truffles and the hunting for it, was only aware about the truffle(choc) cake we get here in India. Such a sad story behind it, RIP Samson.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Yes, Samson was the inspiration behind The Truffle Farm and he sure has left behind a legacy, his pack will miss him.

Penny Sadler - October 2, 2017 Reply

I didn’t know truffle hunting was a thing, but based on your IG photos, I’m a convert! And you’re hilarious. I wonder what your ex is thinking of now when he reads what you said about him. 😀 Too bad Samson is gone. He seems to be well loved though.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    HaaHaa! Always nice to take a shot at the “ex” in good fun I always say! Yes, truffle hunts are absolutely a thing, you should go on one if you ever get a chance, it’ll give you a wonderful paddock to plate experience.

Carrie - October 2, 2017 Reply

Whoa, I had no idea they used dogs (and pigs) to hunt for truffles. Fascinating! And that fig scone looks beyond amazing.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    So much to learn when one goes on a truffle hunt! If your like me, you’ll learn so much about the truffle history and how pigs and dogs have featured in the getting of these little pieces of black gold that we all love so much.

Marcus and Mel - October 1, 2017 Reply

We both love truffles and have seen some dogs searching for them in Italy. It was a big game for them and they were really enjoying it. Sorry to hear about Samson, black labradors are beautiful looking dogs.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    That would be fun to see how truffles are hunted in different parts of the world. I agree, the dogs always seemed to be having so much fun hunting for truffles, it was such a pleasure to watch and share in their excitement, they loved it. Labs are so gorgeous aren’t they.

Skye Class - October 1, 2017 Reply

This is a really cool post. I never realized there was so much information about truffles, and it’s cool how the dog finds them. So far the best truffle item I’ve had was a truffle beer at Skeppsgossen in Karlskrona, Sweden but everything you show here looks wonderful. I’ll be keeping this place in mind when I finally make it Down Under.

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    You won’t regret going on a truffle hunt at The Truffle Farm Skye, it’s so much fun to see the dogs find truffles. Yes to the truffle beer, I’ve tasted that too….. wonderful.

Carol Perehudoff - October 1, 2017 Reply

Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Sampson. Sounds like he had a wonderful truffle-y life though. What a unique experience. I’m a huge truffle fan, but have only had them from Italy and France. This sounds like such a great way to spend a day. (PS: Love the mental image of a puppy in its Learners police dog coat.)

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    The little cute puppy in his Police Dog Learners Coat was adorable and even at that young age was so well behaved even though there were lots of people around. Samson was a beautiful old dog yes, and so sad the inspiration and Pack Leader took his departure and no doubt leaves such a big space behind. His memory lives on in The Truffle Farm logo, so I guess he’s still watching over the farm and his pack.

Krista Bjorn - October 1, 2017 Reply

Anna, you never fail to make me laugh so hard. 🙂 I love your Instagram comments. 🙂 So sorry to hear about Samson. XO

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Awhhh, thanks lovely Krista. Yes, I do have fun with my Insta pics and who doesn’t want to take a good old “take that” with an ex huh! Yes, Samson will be missed.

Debbzie Leksono - October 1, 2017 Reply

After reading this post I didn’t know what to comment because I was crying. Rest in love, Samson and I’m so sorry for your loss Jayson. I lost my furry friend last year and my heart is still broken so every time I read about a dog passing away, I’d cry again :'(

Then I re-read your article again and now curious about the Truffle Hunts. I would surely love to join this tour when I visit Canberra. Great post, Anna! 😀

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Wow Debbzie, I’m so sorry to hear you lost your furry friend last year. As a dog owner myself, I can’t imagine how sad it will be when the day comes and I was quite a mess myself writing this post too, so I know how you feel.
    Do visit The Truffle Farm if you get a chance, it’s a truly fabulous experience and the food in “The Shed” afterwards is to die for.

Anne - October 1, 2017 Reply

I honestly have no idea what a truffle is and am not much of a foodie but I laughed my head off at your Instagram comments, especially the ex boyfriend one. Omg! Sorry to hear about the dog passing

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Oh gosh….. glad you enjoyed my Insta pics and comments. Always fun to ‘have fun’ about life I say. Yes, Samson’s passing is a big thing but I’m sure The Pack will do him proud and carry on. There are lots of truffle products out there now, so have a taste of one when you can.

Sreekar - October 1, 2017 Reply

You had me at truffles! The rest of the post was just a blissful breeze! They do look awesome. Need to head back down under. They do make em pastries well! Right mate:)

    Anna - October 2, 2017 Reply

    Absolutely Sreekar! And yes to the truffle pastries. Absolutely right mate!

Vishal Vashisht - October 1, 2017 Reply

I am a truffle fan too and would love to visit this farm. I feel bad for Samson (RIP Samson). I hope Jayson family and farm is doing ok. For your question Anna, I have never hunted for truffles. I must admit, I am the lazy kind who wants to enjoy truffle without any hard work and I have never heard of a truffle farm here in Alberta.

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Oh, I hear you there Vishal, I all ALL about eating truffles in just about all it’s forms, the hunts are amazing of course but for me going on a truffle hunt at The Truffle Farm in Canberra has always been about watching the dogs work, they are incredible.

Victoria - October 1, 2017 Reply

Omg I’m obsessed with Truffles! A friend in oregon actually trained his dog to help hunt with truffles! I would love to visit here too!

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    That is awesome, your friend in Oregon sounds rad, I think it would be amazing to be able to teach an animal such a great skill. Hope you get on that visit to The Truffle Farm one of these days soon. 🙂

Gary Lum - October 1, 2017 Reply

It’s very sad to read that Samson died this year.
I have a blunted sense of smell but truffles always seem to help enhance the aroma and flavour of foods. I love scrambled eggs made with just fresh eggs, butter and some truffle.

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    It is SO sad Gary, my colleagues were most distressed to find me wiping tears away when I found out.
    YEAS… eggs, butter and truffle are one of the BEST tastes ever. 🙂
    Hope your tummy is feeling better after your uncomfortable road trip.

Queen Suebah - October 1, 2017 Reply

I never met the beautiful Samson, but I just loved this story so much, he was such an amazing old fellow and inspired Jayson and his family to create a beautiful (& yummy) life on the Truffle Farm, that’s true love, loyalty and dedication. Thank you for sharing this story, lovely pics.

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Knowing the impact that Little Chef has had on our lives, so I can totally and absolutely appreciate how Samson shaped and inspired Jayson and his family to create The Truffle Farm. So much love. Glad you enjoyed the story, maybe one of these days we should visit the farm together. 🙂

Tami - October 1, 2017 Reply

You know? I have no idea what a truffle even looks like! Is it kind of like a mushroom? Loved the RIP Sammy photo, but so sad he’s gone!

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Tami, I shall add a picture of a truffle to the post, they dont look like mushrooms, more like black bubbly brains. Hmm.. that doesnt sound good! They have a sort of mushroomy, earthy, pungent and deliciously funky smell about them tho.

    Sam was a beautiful dog. It is incredibly sad he is gone, but amazing just how dramatically he impacted his owners lives. He is a legend really!

Brianna - October 1, 2017 Reply

I had no idea there was a truffle farm near Canberra! I’ve never been truffle hunting myself but would love to give it a go in the Piedmont Region of Italy. Heading to Marrakech and am super excited to try the food there.

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    The farm is actually in Canberra, pretty rad huh?! Oh how fabulous, I do hope you get to the Piedmont Region of Italy and I cannot wait to hear about all the wonderful food you eat in Marrakech. 🙂

Mei and Travel - October 1, 2017 Reply

It’s crazy that the first time Samson went out, he found so many kg of truffles within 10 minutes! So sorry that he passed away! 🙁

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Yes, Samson was a pretty special animal. Also helped that he scored Jayson as his owner who saw all the potential in him. 🙂

My Inner Chick - October 1, 2017 Reply

—–such amazing photos.
Truffles are SO decedent)))
I am sick about Samson. He was too young, too beautiful. I’m so sorry.


    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Glad you enjoyed the photos Kimmy! Samson and The Truffle Farm are very instagramable. 🙂
    Your warm thoughts are appreciated I know. xxx

Divyakshi Gupta - October 1, 2017 Reply

Oh my! What an experience! Samson made it all the more lovely. AND THOSE SWEET TREATS! My gosh. All diet plans can be ditched for those:) Thanks for writing about this Anna. 🙂

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Yep, the sweets served at the farm were incredible. Some of the best food I ate last year was at The Truffle Farm.

Leah - September 30, 2017 Reply

I often joke that I could be used as a truffle dog, because I can sniff out a truffle like no other human. I went to a truffle farm in Cognac and was in heaven. I had no idea that Australia had truffles. And, so sad to read about Samson. 🙁

    Anna - October 1, 2017 Reply

    Hahaha Leah, you and Jayson should have a truffle sniff off. 🙂 And yes, Australia has truffles, there are a number of farms around the country too. Sounds like a visit to Canberra should be on your list.
    And yes, its very sad about Samson, but he has left us all with so many amazing memories and his legend will live on!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - September 30, 2017 Reply

Aww RIP Samson! That beautiful face. What an amazing dog. Truffle dogs make the truffle hunting even more fun than it already is!

    Anna - September 30, 2017 Reply

    They sure do Lorraine, he was a truly beautiful animal and to think he almost didn’t fulfil his destiny by being a rescue dog. What a legend he was.

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