Exchange of good practices
Good practice in Lokev (plantation of truffles):Truffles are a well-known non-timber forest product, being collected in the area of Slovenia and wider in the SE of Europe for centuries. In the coastal areas of Slovenia, all the commercial truffle species can be found, namely Tuber magnatum Pico, Tuber borchii Vitt., Tuber aestivum Vitt., Tuber brumale Vitt. and in some sites also Tuber melanosporum Vitt. In recent decade, at least ten truffle plantations have been stablished , mainly in small (below 1 ha) sizes and predominantly focusing on cultivation of T. aestivum or T. melanosporum. There is no data on production of these plantations available while the production of truffles on natural sites is satisfactory.
The first stop was made in the very heart of an old Karst village of Lokev. The village is situated next to the Italian border and about 10km from the Mediterranean sea. The micro-location of the village has a mild Mediterranean climate and is in the centre of the limestone rich karst area. We have seen there the starting steps taken by Žarko Volk, one of the motivated truffle hunters in Slovenia, starting his own truffle plantation.
The plantation is young and not yet in the production stage. The plantation is organised as a combination of two plant and two truffle species plantations. Participants were also briefly introduced to legislation related to truffles and what the main (environmental) obstacles in truffle cultivation are..
Good practice in Bonini (apitherapy):
Slovenia has a long history of bee production, bee keeping and honey production. In recent years, the bee keepers’ society is turning into one of the strongest societies in the country and bee keeping is becoming increasingly popular. Despite the fact that honey and related products are highly valued as delicacy and for healing purposes there is only a limited number of bee keepers that would explore the opportunities further.
ne of them is Darjo Benčič, who has been a bee keeper for the last 10 ten years and who recently upgraded his basic tourist-oriented activity to include apitherapy. The participants saw his newly established apitherapy hives where he combines honey production with an apitherapy and a honey massage. All this is a part of his tourist “tris” offer, namely: truffles – apitherapy – olive oil production.
Good practice in Truške (Agritourism):
Family Organic wine farm is located in the heart of Slovenian Istria, located in village of Truške. Rodica Wineyard (agritourism) had built a successful story in the previous decade. Their business is based on the combination of ecological vine production and truffles hunting which grow in abundance near their home.
They combined the traditional cuisine and truffle dishes with truffle hunting as a tourist attraction. For a long time, truffle hunting was a mysterious activity which was done by a small number of truffle hunters. They were the first in the region who showed the practise in public and offered this activity as a tourist attraction at his agritourism. The participants have seen how truffles are hunted in natural pubescent oak and hornbeam forests in the vicinity with a trained Labrador, which is most commonly used breed of dog for truffle hunting.