On Oštir’s farm we are dealing with open-air (outdoor) crop, vegetable and fruit maintenance, according to the newest ecological guidelines and in cooperation with the KON-CERT institute. Our goals are to maintain ground feracity and offer the best quality of our products. We use natural materials, which impose the ground as little as possible.
At the moment we can offer you wheat and milling products, asparagus, potato, garlic, beans and fruit products (apple juice, marmelades, apple vinegar, slivovitz and different liqueurs). We spread our offer every year.
Because of the stressful life, the lack of motion and bad nutrition, more and more people deal with health problems. We can fight these things by using one of the healthiest vegetable plants growing in our country – asparagus. We know two types of asparagus. The difference between them is in their growing methods. One of the types, named »beluši« (white asparagus, the other one is green) is covered with black foil or soil while growing (so that in cannot provide clorophile).
We know the wild asparagus and the grown asparagus. The wild one exceeds the grown one in taste and in ingredients. The season of collecting asparagus starts in April and ends in the middle of June, when the asparagus lignifies.
On Oštir’s farm we are growing the green asparagus and prepare them for the sale. All of our products are grown ecologically and checked by KON-CERT institute (an institute for the control and certification in agriculture and forestry Maribor).
Wheat requires at least 3-year crop rotation. If we sow it every year on the same surface, the yield drops for approximately 15%. With proper crop rotation we preserve or even improve the ground feracity and deny the excessive amplification of weed, plant diseases and parasites. These are very important factors of crop maintenance.
By plowing the field, we turn over, loose and smash the ground. We also plow the remains of the harvest, weed seeds and the weed itself. The ground has to be compact enough, therefore we do the plowing at least 10 days before the seeding. If this isn’t possible, we improve the compactness by rolling the ground before or after the seeding. We adept the rooting depth to former crop and to the sort of soil; it usually comes to 20-25 cm. After the plowing there comes sowing process with round harrows. This process straightens the ground, smashes the lumps and compresses the tail.
According to the growing length and ripening time, there are different sorts of wheat. The differences of the growing time of Slovenian wheat are between 2 and 3 weeks.
HARVESTING AND STORING
The so called »early sorts« grow faster and need to be harvested before the other sorts. We harvest them when their grains are stiff. The harvest must be dry (the tallest number of humidity allowed is 15%, but the grains must be dried to 14% before storaging). We storage the wheat in a wooden store (granary), so that it is prevented from parasites.
On the Oštir’s farm we grow grinding wheat. It is grinded in the ancient Soražev mell, which has been using the same technology for 700 years. The result of the grind are milling products (semolina, flour, bran).
First, we soak our seeding material in an algae preparate to improve it’s resistance. Instead of the preparate we can also use a warm Camille or sage tea. The soaking should last for about 10 minutes. If we plan to seed the garlic in the garden, we can also leave the material in the perparate for the night. Then we reave the bulbs in chives, which should be done 1 or 2 days before seeding. On the field, we prepare ditches, 7 cm deep, with 25-30 cm distance between the lines. We put the chives on the ditch ground (the pike should be pointed up) with 10-15 cm distance between every two of them. The distance variate through the garlic sorts and the size of our chives. We cover our chives with about 5 cm of soil. The growth time also depends on the sort and the weather. Autumn sorts are seeded in October, spring sorts are seeded in February and March.
Here we can stick to the rule »less is more«, which means that it is the best to leave the garlic alone while growing. But it needs a loose ground, so some sort of loosening is still needed. In the last few years there was a problem with the oninon fly, which likes to attack the garlic. This is why we don’t hoe it between the blooming of the cherry trees and the middle of May. The hoe makes the garlic give off a scent and attract the parasite. The garlic should be covered for this time. We can use curtains or suitable nets. If possible, the cover should not touch the garlic. It is very important to remove the weed regularly. The garlic has very fleet roots and cannot compete with other plants for the nutrients it needs.
STORING THE GARLIC
When the heads reach proper size and the skin around the chives is tense enough, the garlic is prepared for the storage. We do not wait for yellow leaves or the whole plants. We draw the whole plant, leaves included. We should cut the roots immediately and dry the plants. We cut off the leaves when garlic is already dried. If we have bigger amounts of garlic, we can also cut the leaves immediately (we cut them about 5cm above the head). We dry the heads on the floor in a dark, well ventilated place. When they are dried, we knit them in plaits and put them in fleet boxes or hang them in a dry space. The best temperature for storage is about 0°C, not lower and not higher than 5°C.