Culinary journey of Slovenian journalists through tourist farms in Carinthia

The Association of Tourist Farms of Slovenia organized its second two-day culinary study trip for Slovenian journalists this year, this time focusing on Carinthian tourist farms, which took place on October 10th and 11th, 2023.

In the company of 12 journalists, we delved into the diverse offerings of the countryside in Carinthia, meeting with hosts and their family members on six selected farms, hearing their intriguing stories, and experiencing authentic connections with nature and animals. Of course, all the hosts treated us to delicious seasonal, regional, and homemade delights.

Following is a brief description of the itinerary.

On the first day, the program included a Carinthian breakfast made from local ingredients at the ecological tourist farm Ravnjak in Selah near Slovenj Gradec. Here, hosts Breda and Roman Dušak shared a fascinating story about their beginnings in farming, sheep breeding, a carriage ride to the Cucnej waterfall, and the energy spots of Ravnjak's peak and its lively spring water.

After an excellent Carinthian breakfast and a carriage ride, we continued our journey towards the Mežica Valley to the village of Jamnica. In the mountain village of Jamnica, situated at 800 meters above sea level with a magnificent view of Mount Peca and the surrounding peaks, we visited two providers closely connected with both organic farming and mountain biking: first, the Eco Hotel Koroš, followed by the Mikl tourist farm. Hosts Suzana and Dušan Štrucl presented the offerings of Eco Hotel Koroš and shared their story of beginnings, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with neighboring farms. At the organic farm Mikl, we enjoyed a typical Carinthian lunch and a forest bath.

We concluded the full-day journey with dinner and accommodation at the Ploder tourist farm in Šentanel, which boasts the longest tradition of farm tourism in Carinthia. Some tour participants cycled to the Ploder farm in Šentanel along a scenic road accompanied by experienced cycling guide Enej Štrucl.

On the second day, after a hearty breakfast, skillful hostess Marina demonstrated the making of "kvočevi nudl," while her son Boštjan guided us through the estate, presenting the farming activities. After visiting the Ploder farm, we continued our journey by exploring experiences and stories in the valley. First, in Podklanec near Dravograd, we visited the recreational and educational tourist farm Klančnik, where the reins of agricultural management were taken over by the younger generation - Gabrijela and Miha Kogelnik - just over a year ago. In addition to raising dairy cows and fattening pigs, they also added the breeding of farmed game. We visited the enclosure with a biological classroom with a special tourist train, which was a real attraction. In the cellar of the farm, they prepared a presentation and tasting of homemade meat products and must.

We concluded the study trip with an excellent lunch and an interesting experience at the ecological tourist farm Lešnik in Golavabuki at 700 meters above sea level, which boasts rich natural and cultural heritage. Friendly hosts Irma and Albert Javornik showed us around the estate and also demonstrated the making of "šitlns," characteristic wooden shingles.

In the late afternoon, bidding farewell to the Lešnik family with pleasant feelings and full of experiences and interesting stories, we headed back to Ljubljana.

At the conclusion of the journey, the journalists expressed tremendous gratitude and excitement for the program itself, the hospitality and exceptional connectivity of the farms, and the organization of the trip.

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