Andeer ist anders
Ever since he was 20 years old, Martin Bienerth – agricultural engineer, journalist and photographer – has spent every summer working as a cowherd in the Swiss Alps. Now, together with his wife, Maria – also a qualified agricultural engineer and one of Switzerland’s few remaining master cheese-makers – he has established an organic cheese dairy in the picturesque Swiss region of Andeer.
For Martin, “going to the Alps” was always more than just a summer job. It was hard but fulfilling work, a unique way of life; it meant feeling alive and coming to terms with death. His passion for the animals, for nature, and for the culture of mountain farming goes with him even when he leaves the pastures. His cheese business is founded on the desire to prevent milk – and, therefore, work and money – flowing out of the area, taking with it the vitality of the mountain communities. Together with his wife and other farmers, Martin is working to raise awareness of the value of food and, in doing so, is trying to slow the pace of what is erroneously described as “progress”.