As part of the project Eden55plusNW, a group of small and medium-sized enterprises from Slovenia and Croatia, as well as a representative of a senior citizens’ organization, visited the Austrian region “Vulkanland Styria” from 8th – 9th November. The goal of the study tour was, on the one hand, the learning of the tourist offer of the region around Feldbach, as well as the networking of SMEs from Slo / Cro / Aut among each other. As the Spirit of Regions agency, we support the Styrian project partners in this project and actively contribute our expertise. For example, we set up the program for the trip with an almost timely schedule and accompanied the specialist travel. Thanks to the partner agency AgencijaM from Maribor for the translations. The development of authentic tourist offers is a special concern for us, so we used the opportunity to visit two organic farms. They are off the beaten touristic tracks. Their product language and their visible actions were, however, reflected by the tourism companies as very future-oriented. Raabauer Eisvogel – Wilma and Karl Kaufmann – Raabau Wilma and Karl Kaufmann mainly cultivate elderberry, aronia, ribisel, pumpkin and around 1000 damascene organic roses. The fruits and flowers are delivered fresh or dried to the wholesaler and as far as the direct marketing allows, it is refined on the farm. The kingfisher breeds in the Raab-Auen, is in the municipal wattle and decorates the product line as a label. The group was given an insight into these cultivars/yields and were able to lend a hand with the packaging itself. Slow Flowers „vom Hügel“ – Margrit de Colle – Erbersdorf Floral design belongs to the life culture in the volcano. The gifts of nature make this possible all year round. The lifebloods in the volcanic landscape make this knowledge apparent in your gardens, so also “Slowflowers” in the flower garden “vom Hügel” combine new formal structures, old trees and agricultural land to form a whole – therein lies the passion of Margrit de Colle. In the workshop the participants arranged an autumn / winter arrangement of natural elements, which had previously been collected in the forest, meadow and garden.

The feedback from the small and medium-sized enterprises in the plenum and through questionnaires makes it easier for us to interact between customer requirements and operational offerings. Horizon extensions initiate new developments.

All pictures of Day 1; All pictures of Day 2; Report about the journey on the project’s website (Day 1); Report about the journey on the project’s website (Day 2)