When Peter and Henri founded Pipers Farm over 30 years ago it was based on one very strong instinct, they wanted to produce food that they were happy to feed their children.

Having returned home after a year of farming in New Zealand and Australia, working in total harmony with nature it was a real shock to come back to Peter’s family farm and take up rearing chickens for a high-end supermarket chain. With chickens packed into small sheds and being kept alive by their heavy dose of antibiotics, this was simply not food they were prepared to feed to their two young sons, Will and Ed. Something had to change.

Pipers Farm was born out of a desire to reject industrial farming and instead produce food that would nourish families, communities and our environment. This desire has shaped so many decisions over the years, from the way we package our food for ultimate convince to help busy families in the kitchen, to our refusal to use any unnatural chemicals on the farm or in any of our products, so you know exactly what your family is eating.

Claire Thomson 5 o'clock apron recipes

Feeding your family during a pandemic

It has never been more important to ensure you and your family are eating well. With growing evidence every day of the effect of our diet on our likelihood to suffer adverse symptoms from Covid-19, the pandemic has brought home our urgent need to rethink the way we eat. When it comes to bringing up our next generation, starting positive food habits early on is vital. However with children returning to school, many likely to go back to ‘school dinners’ there is quite rightly some concern over the quality of the diet children will be receiving during this difficult time.

David Payne is someone who knows about the reaction school dinners can cause better than most. His nine-year-old daughter, Martha, caused an international stir last year when she started a blog complaining about the quality and quantity of the lunchtime meals at her primary school in Scotland. Martha wrote, “the good thing about the blog is Dad understands why I am hungry when I get home.”

Talking at the Child Food Trust conference, David Payne, who runs a smallholding in the West of Scotland said all children should be encouraged to blog about food. “Martha would tell me how much she didn’t like her meals but I wasn’t listening. When I saw it, I thought ‘I wouldn’t want to eat that.’ It just wasn’t of a quality I was expecting.”

Martha is lucky that she comes from a family who have taught her to cook at home. She and her siblings take turns to make one meal every two weeks, often using ingredients that have been grown on their land. However, millions of children still don’t know the importance of nutrition.

Claire Thomson 5 o'clock apron recipes

Claire Thomson - 5 o'Clock Apron

Bring on Claire Thomson, chef, food writer and Mum to Dot, Ivy and Grace. You may also know Claire by her Instagram alias ‘5 o’Clock Apron’ also the name of her very first book. 'The five o'clock apron' provides parents who are stuck in a teatime rut with healthy recipes that are easy to make.

We have known Claire for a few years now, providing food for her and her family, as well as ingredients for recipe testing for her fabulous cook books. When lockdown hit the country we found ourselves gleefully following Claire’s cheerful home cooking videos, waiting for the next one to land and provide us with light relief from the heavy news and long busy days on the farm. Claire’s videos provided us and so many with just the tonic we needed at such an uncertain time.

“I am finding the time we do spend together in the kitchen, cooking our daily meals, to be really quite joyous. More than ever, and this is something I have long been a fan of, the kids are beside me in the kitchen as we begin our day – the new normal.” Claire says.

Claire’s food is simple yet inspired, it’s not ‘kids food’, although her recipes are perfect for parent-child teamwork: she cooks with her daughters Dot and Ivy, carefully guiding them through the backstory of ingredients and practical cookery techniques along the way.

"It goes without saying that food and cooking covers the topics of a child’s education with broad and enriching brushstrokes. Numeracy with weighing and measuring of ingredients, ­literacy with the reading of recipes, history and geography – a how and why and where in the world – for the origin of certain ingredients.”

“Through cookery, there is also, for me, one of the finest practical assets I can bestow on my children as they grow up: to be able to cook wholesome and interesting meals for themselves on a sensible budget and in a workable time frame.” Claire goes on to say.

It’s a no brainer that we have teamed up with Claire to create a series of nutritious recipes to inspire your family's cooking. Throughout September we’ll be sharing a new recipe each week with a cook-along IG video and all the recipe details on our Journal. Stay tuned for more!

Feed your family with our collection of Family Favourite ingredients, shop the range here.

Claire Thomson 5 o'clock apron recipes

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