With this first update on our run-up for the summer season 2015 we want to introduce the Alp Maran dairy in Switzerland and its crew to our kind adopters. The dairy has been part of the inaugural season of the Adopt-an-Alp program, and we are looking forward to an exciting summer to share with you.
Where and who we are
Maran is located close to the village of Arosa, primarily known as a popular, family friendly alpine wintersports location. The town itself is located in the canton of Graubuenden in Switzerland, approximately half way between the city of Chur and the town of Davos at about 1600 meters (5250 ft.) above sea level.
Maran dairy receives its milk from 4 alps: Carmenna, Sattel, Praetsch and – of course – Maran via pipeline or tank wagon. Over the last two weeks we have been busy preparing the dairy and it’s equipment for the new season, awaiting the arrival of cattle from down the valley.
By the end of this week all of the 400 cattle arrived at the alps surrounding and including Maran and everything is set up for the new season.
And now we get started with the first alp milk milking at Alp Maran at the beginning of this week.
The crew at Maran dairy currently consists of five people, who are either living permanently in or around Arosa or came here just for the season. Some are professional dairymen while others are specialized in customer service or are working as supporting laborers. By beginning of July we are expecting 2 new crew members as a reinforcement, who will be introduced individually when they arrive.
Walter is the chief dairy master of Maran and also serves as the managing director. He took over this position 6 years ago and has been frequently awarded for excellence in alp cheese making since then. He is an educated master cheese maker. Arnold, who retired just recently, is a master cheese maker too and a former co-worker and personal friend of Walter. Since he still can’t let go and start living life the easy way he decided to come up and join the crew. His 40 years of professional experience are particularly valued by everyone.
Bea is the heart and soul of the Maran dairy team. Not only does she serve our customers in the dairy’s own little shop but she also assists Walter in yogurt production and paperwork. She further runs most of the storage, and if there is a particular question concerning anything about the dairy, be sure that Bea knows the answer. Taking good care of her co-workers makes her every ones darling.
Karin is a close personal friend of Bea and works with her in the small dairy shop. She is a trained customer service professional and handles large groups of visitor and customers as if they were just a mere couple. Please note her fine haircuts during the updates since we received multiple visitor requests asking to pet her. Matthias came to Maran for the first time last summer and worked as a greaser in the cheese bunker. Getting hooked on the various smells and fumes in the bunker quickly, he kept on coming back for last winter and this new summer season.
We would all like to invite you to share our experiences of this season and to show you week by week some part of our dairy, it’s surroundings and the various steps from cattle to sales it takes to make the fine and tasty Maraner Alpkäse… Matthias Völkel