The Tschudis – parents Fritz and Anna and six children between the ages of 19 and 35 – literally only have to step out of their house and start walking up the mountain in order to dislocate to Alp Heuboden. Their farm and barns are located on 4,000 feet. Between the beginning of June and the end of September they switch between four houses and move up to 6,000 feet.
In 2020, the parents gave ownership of their farm in the valley and the Alp operation to their son Peter and his wife Annelies, who - by now - have four children: Lea (5), Elian (4), Ben (2), Hannah (6 months). Fritz still makes the cheese. He is now assisted by Christine, who lives in the canton Argovia, but spends the summer on Heuboden.
Heuboden, the uppermost Alp, is privately owned. The family has three employees and during the summer the Tschudis depend on the steady support of all of their children. Together, they tend to 60 cows, 80 heifers, and 20 pigs from a total of five farms. Anna and one son stay down in the main house where they take care of the meadows and wash the cheeses that are brought in from higher up.
On the Alp, Fritz produces approximately 20,000 lbs of Glarner Alpkaese AOP. Because Heuboden is located on a higher altitude than most Alps in this canton, far away from the communal aging cellar and not connected to a road, Tschudi is allowed to mature his Glarner Alpkaese AOP in his own cellars until the end of Alp season rather than to bring it to the AOP caves after the age of only one month.
During the time they stay at the highest place, Tschudi and his crew receive their provisions, washed clothes, and other necessities once a week through a helicopter service that delivers to alps that are difficult to reach otherwise.
In 2016 we visited Alp Heuboden during our Adopt-an-Alp winners' trip. Watch the video