Our abundant natural environment has, for millennia,
provided a wealth of raw materials for everyday life, and nurtured
advances in applied science, technology and local crafts. The forests
provided beams with which to build Idrija's ancient mines, mercury
and cinnabar themselves part of a natural bounty. Rivers offered
transportation for even the largest of timbers, with damns and waterwheels
being built to harness the power of the waters to man's advantage.
For centuries the people of our villages and farms have made wide
use of wood, from hay-drying poles and racks to the building of
beehives, fruit-drying kilns, barns and houses, many of them with
fine carved or painted features. The museum in Ribnica has exhibits
of traditional wooden wares, a craft recorded here as early as the
14th century, and including agricultural tools, troughs and tubs
as well as domestic items such as plates, dishes, sieves and spoons.
Our rich forests provided plentiful food for early man and continue
to provide modern people with abundant wild produce, although for
centuries the fertile valleys have also been farmed. Agriculture
is a vital part of our way of life, and our farming methods remain
essentially traditional. The flood plains, fertile valleys and high
meadows are farmed for grain crops, flax and hay, livestock provides
meat and milk products, and small groves of apple, pear and plum
trees are abundant.