Family farms and organic production are gaining more importance with each day. Croatia is a perfect location to have small family businesses in which this kind of activity could take place. One of them is the family farm Štenta from Nature Park Žumberak. They have recently become our partners and their products can be found in our webshop.
We interviewed them so check out their story and find out more about their llamas.
Who takes care of the family farm and how did you decide to start it?
Before my husband and I met, he had a registered family farm producing honey. I also had a registered family farm for raspberry production. We have both been in agriculture for over ten years. When we met, we united our two family farms, set up new plantations, increased the number of bee communities, equipped processing facilities and started producing juices, syrups, jams, honey products and natural cosmetics. My husband (Ivica Štenta) and I are workers at the farm.
What do you grow and what products do you offer?
We have plantations of strawberries, raspberries, chokeberries, mixed plantations of apples, pears, cherries and plums, smaller areas of cereals (corn, oats, wheat) and bee communities.
We sell fresh strawberries and raspberries and use the remaining fruit for processing in a registered processing facility located on our family farm. We produce fruit juices that contain 100% fruit, without added sugar, preservatives, water, additives, dyes or flavor enhancers.
We also produce jams from raspberries, strawberries, apples&raspberries, cherries, apples&cinnamon and chokeberry. We also offer syrups (strawberry, raspberry, chokeberry, cherry and elderflower).
We have 60 bee communities on the family farm, and we produce and fill honey in a registered honey bottling plant. We have been awarded several times for our honey – gold for chestnut in 2019 and silver for acacia in 2020, also silver for chestnut & flower honey).
To increase the value of honey, we started with the production of honey products, so we offer cream honey: Medomaza čoko, Medomaza with ginger and Imunomed. We use beeswax in the production of natural cosmetics.
We also offer special gift packages with our products, which are especially interesting for customers for the Christmas and New Year holidays. In our stone mill, we grind flour from corn, wheat and oats.
In 2021, we won a gold medal for apple juice in the evaluation of processed products organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, and a silver medal for apple and cherry juice.
From 2021, all our juices and jams have been awarded by “Living Healthy” mark by the CNIPH.
Our apple juice and chokeberry juice, as well as the raspberry jam also bear the “Plavi Ceker” label awarded by the City of Zagreb.
We also process juice for our clients from fruits that they bring to us.
What do you offer to the visitors of the family farm?
When the weather conditions allow, we organize a picnic at the farm. Visitors can book a picnic basket containing our products, and have a picnic on the blankets at or near our property. Then we have tastings of our products and visitors can meet our two llamas, Maya and Tomica.
How did you come up with the idea of procuring llamas and where did you find them?
The idea for the llamas came from her husband, who found them interesting and sympathetic for years. It seemed to us that llamas could attract customers to our farm, and as we expand our business to the accommodation service, we decided to buy llamas that will certainly be attractive to guests. The first female was bought in Samobor and the male in Slovenia.
What did working on the family farm look like during the Covid pandemic?
We sell our products in the highest percentage online. We have our web store, we cooperate with many web stores in Croatia and Slovenia. A large number of customers order via our Facebook page, so we send orders by Post to the address of customers. For Karlovac, Zagreb, Rijeka or Split we deliver in person to the address, without shipping fees for all orders over 100kn. So during the Covid pandemic, when online shopping became even more popular, we had no problems marketing our products.
What news and offers can we expect in your future work?
We are currently working on a project to decorate 2 apartments and a wooden house. Shortly, we will start renting. Our guests will be offered breakfast with products from our farm. Also, we are thinking about buying bicycles and quads, and maybe some more interesting animals.
Check out products from family farm Štenta: