It's a small country in the heart of Europe, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a place with more beautiful lakes and seashores
Slovenia became independent in 1991 as Yugoslavia fell apart. It is bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.
Four major European geographic regions meet in Slovenia: the Alps, the Dinaric area, the Pannonian plain and the Mediterranean. The country is mountainous, and Slovenes are keen skiers and hikers. The national flag depicts the three-peaked Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain at 2 864 metres.
The country was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The capital, Ljubljana, was founded in Roman times. Its university, with more than 50 000 students, contributes to the city’s busy cultural life. The main industries are car parts, chemicals, electronics, electrical appliances, metal goods, textiles and furniture.
Tourist attractions include the famous caves at Postojna, with their decor of stalactites and stalagmites. Graffiti in the caves shows that the first tourists came here in 1213.
Slovenian cuisine is strongly influenced by that of its neighbours. From Austria comes Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel . Italy has contributed risotto and ravioli and Hungary goulash. The potica is a traditional Slovenian cake made by rolling up a layer of dough covered with walnuts.
Among the most famous Slovenes are the physicistJožef Stefan, the linguistFranc Miklošič and the architect Jože Plečnik.
Almost a decade ago, when Urša Kunz and Miha Pupis started farming, their pens housed ten goats. But they followed their goals and dreams. Their Country Estate Trnulja is located in Črna vas, in the heart of the Ljubljansko barje Landscape Park, and only ten minutes from Ljubljana.
In 2004, they were among the first in Slovenia to begin growing hemp, initially about a hectare. Hemp and hemp seed oil remain the main promoters of Trnulja. Over the years, they added other produce and products, and Trnulja with its green holiday apartments is soon to become an official member of the association of BIO Hotels.
The farm is strictly organic; in fact it would be difficult to make it more organic than it already is. The farm focuses particularly on the production of oilseeds and grains and processing them into organic oils, spreads and regular and wholemeal flour. The farm is home to numerous animals; horses, goats, donkeys, one mule, ducks, chicken, cats and Riki the dog, who accompanied us throughout our conversation, like the real master of the property.
Urša and Miha are not conventional farmers. They were looking for cultivable land where they could also keep horses for a long time. “If you’re only starting to farm, it’s not easy to acquire agricultural land,” explains Miha. They had to wait several years for the land over which Trnulja now extends. Because it was overgrown with thorn bushes, they first had to clear these away and re-cultivate. They also put up buildings for the animals, machinery and feed. Two years ago,