I was brought up on a small mixed family farm in West Kent, in a family of 5 children and since the age of 3 I always wanted to be a ” hands -on livestock farmer”.
I remember well following my Dad around the family-owned David Greig grocery shops; a business started by my Great Grandfather. When I was very small I could just reach the yoghurt pots to see if they were out of date, or dip a finger into the cake mix in the bakery next to my Dad’s office in Waterloo Road. On the floor above Dad’s office, coffee was roasted and sides of bacon were smoked just across the road. The sensations were magical and intoxicating!
After spending 3 years at Wye College studying a degree in Agriculture, I didn’t get a great degree but I did meet a fantastic future wife!
I took a year working and travelling alone in the outback of Australia and then very formative travels with Henri through much of Australia and almost all of New Zealand.
Our first 6 years farming was on a high hill farm in Wensleydale before moving back to the small family farm in Kent where I had been brought up. Working there with industrial chickens put into stark relief the contrast between farming in harmony with nature which had been so much a part of our experiences in the previous few years, and then producing food with the total exclusion and disregard of nature.
So much so that we were determined to produce food that we believed in, we could be proud of, and that we would be happy to feed to ourselves and our young boys. That day, 26 years ago, we turned our back on the industrialised process which is modern mainstream farming, and Pipers Farm was born!