No other region has more registered Alps for transhumance than the canton Berne - which is not surprising if you add the fact that almost half of its area lies in the alpine range. The towering trident of Eiger - Mönch - Jungfrau is worldwide known, although the highest peak is the "Finsteraarhorn" (4274 m.ü.M = 14000 ft. above sea level). In this area is also the spring of the river "Simme" with its spectacular cascades.
Alp Pommeren is above the falls, in altitudes between 5250 to 7050 feet. Especially the upper meadows are in a rough and very steep area, and therefore very exposed to the weather (and quick changes). The lower part provides more accessible pastures, however, they are exposed to avalanches in the winter.
Alp Pommern is owned by the Bühler family who has a farm down in the valley. The Alp, however, is operated by the family of Ferdi Bergmann. His son Martin (22) and Jasmine Baumann (33), an employee, are the duo that spends the summer on Pommern. Other family members help out when needed.
54 cows, 50 heifers, 10 calves, and 4 chickens move to Pommern sometime in June, depending on the weather. The cows and heifers have a tough 3-hour-hike to the chalet, the path is steep and rocky. The meadows stretch over an area of about 250 acres. Chris Leuthold buys the approximately 65 tons of milk and produces between 6 and 7 tons of cheese each summer. About 2 tons is cheddar: "We don't want to sell this to big retailers", says Chris. Therefore a perfect fit for Adopt-an-Alp
His idea of making a farmhouse-style cheddar indeed put Pommern in our program. Chris, a master cheesemaker and former director of "Lenk Milch AG" has traveled the world and made cheese in New Zealand, Norway (where he is right now until the start of transhumance). He also educated himself about making cheddar in a span of 7 years with multiple stints on Farmhouse Cheddar dairies in England.