Family farming at its best

A portrait of the Rußbachhof farm in the Valle Aurina valley

Walter and his family continue a tradition that is more than 200 years old, because the Rußbachhof farm in San Giovanni in the Valle Aurina valley has been owned by the Marcher family for many generations. At an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, they manage the fields and meadows with great commitment and passion and take care of the house, farm and barn.

The cohesion of the family and the joint tackling of everyday tasks, according to Walter, are the key to the harmonious and productive management of the mountain farm. Above all, it is the women on the farm who strengthen this unity, he says proudly, speaking of his better half, wife Bernadette. She shares with him the joys (but also the privations) of their lives in the mountains, is responsible for the direct marketing of their own products and stands out with her cooking skills, especially her traditional “Ahrntaler Krapfen” are widely appreciated.


The variety of animals that live on the Rußbachhof farm, which includes not only cows but also chickens and pigs, allows the production of various foods. In addition to the production of milk, the Marcher family also smokes bacon and bakes their own bread. On the farm live about ten cows of the Fleckvieh breed, which regularly graze on the meadows nearby.

In addition to the widespread grasslands, there are also alpine meadows which, thanks to the efforts and care of Walter and his family, are a guarantee for the preservation of biodiversity and cultural landscape. 


Walter and Bernadette are joined on the farm by their son Tobias, his wife Theresa and their three children. With a lot of dedication and passion, they work in the fields and on the farm, manage the holiday apartments and pass on the farming heritage. Tobias also takes care of the hay work, which is partly done by machine, but partly still by hand, as the meadows are very steep. In addition to the farm work, he also pursues his work in the nearby carpentry shop.

The varied work with the seasons, the diverse activities and the maintenance of high quality standards are a new challenge every day.


The farm also includes the Rußbach Alp at 1,800 meters, which daughter Stefanie runs together with her husband, their three children and her uncle.  Always with a smile on their faces and ready for a witty remark, they take excellent care of their guests high up in the mountains.

Tradition at heart while always keeping an eye on modernity - this is how the Marcher family intends to continue running their farm for the next 200 years.


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