The inspiring women behind the Farm Kitchen

Ahead of International Women’s Day, I wanted to celebrate Women doing extra-ordinary things to help parents feed their children with nutritional food and highlight locally grown food too.

I recently came across Victoria Howe of the Farm Kitchen who shares similar values to me. With her dedicated team she produces over 5,000 meals each week to feed children across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Cambridgeshire with tasty, nutritious food.

Here is a little more about the organisation from Victoria, what it aims to achieve and why it matters:

  • How did the Farm Kitchen come about?

I had always dreamt of starting my own business and had a strong passion for good food and the importance of nutrition.  I had been working at Waitrose in the Head Office for a number of years and moved back to my home county of Lincolnshire in 2006 – at the time Jamie Oliver was campaigning for school meals and focusing on Lincolnshire, as most schools no longer had kitchens….. the idea of transporting lunches into schools was born.

  • What are the Farm Kitchen’s aims and objectives?

Our aim is to make a difference…..we use the strapline #goodfoodchangeseverything….which it genuinely does….sorry to preach to the converted! 

From the obvious nutrition benefits, to the joy and mental health benefits, to long term health benefits, to the benefits to the farmers and local economy taken from our website: “We believe that good food really can change everything for a child. 

From the fundamentals of good nutrition and fuel, to the enhanced health and social benefits.  The importance of eating local food is also fundamental to local economies and supporting our natural environment and resources. 

Through our delivery of fresh meals and food education we can set our children on the right path to make the best food choices for sustainable, healthier futures – Here at the Farm Kitchen, we’re on a mission to make sure that every child in Lincolnshire has a healthy, nutritious meal every day to help them learn and develop at school.

From bolognaise to the classic roast, we freshly prepare and cook our meals every day in our kitchens. Each dish is packed full of delicious, locally sourced produce to make sure it really is the healthiest, tastiest version of itself.  From our family-run farm in the heart of Lincolnshire, we want to inspire children to make healthy, sustainable food choices that can make a real difference to them and the world around them now and in the future.”

  • How has the organisation grown?

We have grown very organically by word of mouth – from starting producing 80 meals a day in our first week, we reached 400 by the end of Term 1….we have grown over the years and as of next week are averaging over 5000 meals every day.

  • What plans are there for the future?

We love what we do and want to continue to grow and aim to constantly improve and enhance what we do

  • How can people find out more information and follow on social media?

Can you suggest an easy no fuss recipe that a busy parent with young children could easily follow / enjoy?

Did you enjoy reading this blog? Did you learn something new or feel inspired to find out more? Drop me a line at :

Meet the producer – Jo and Alex Burrows, Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream   

Meet the producer – Jo and Alex Burrows, Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream   

Jo and husband Alex live in Ashbourne, Derbyshire with their two children Finn and Ella, milking a herd of pedigree Jersey cows. Jo’s family have been farming for several generations and 6 years ago after the birth of their son Finn, Jo gave up work and started helping her father with milking twice daily.

The family have always been passionate about breeding top-quality pedigree show cows. But in order to make the milk pay, they needed to look at diversification outlets to add value to the super creamy gold jersey milk in order to sustain their family.

That’s how the Coldeaton Jersey Icecream came about. Having received some European grant funding to help give them the boost they needed to get set up, Jo and Alex started making ice cream, selling to wholesale, pubs, restaurants and local outlets.

They have a bank of original flavours including your traditional flavours, raspberry ripple, chocolate and strawberry as well as a few seasonal limited additions. As this side of the business has grown, and with the support of many other local producers, the duo decided to open a small on-farm shop selling bread, eggs, as well as their signature ice cream.

In the last 12 months amid the pandemic, the on-farm shop has been widely supported as people look to supporting local businesses and reduce their food miles too. As a result, the Jersey milk has been pasteurised and bottled on-site and is now available to buy direct. There are also plans for flavoured milkshakes coming in the Spring of 2022 as well as butter and cream.

What’s really exciting is that tomorrow – Thursday 6th January 2022 at 3.45pm on BBC1 Jo, Alex, Finn and Ella Burrows will feature with Jo’s Dad, John Stubbs, on the new series of the Farmers Country Showdown. Filmed last year on the farm and at the Ashbourne Show, the TV programme features a behind-the-scenes look at the family preparing the Jersey Cows and Jo’s family members showing their Shire Horses too – another family tradition.

When I asked Jo why she got involved with the TV programme she said ‘I wanted to show the general public a window into our daily lives, life on the farm and how we care passionately for our animals’. ‘We have unique, special bonds with each and every one of our cows and I hope that becomes apparent on the show’. ‘We thoroughly enjoy what we do and we are grateful for all the support we have received on our farming journey so far.’

You can find out more about where you can buy the ice cream here:

You can follow Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream on social media here:

#BBCCountryShowdown #BiteintoBritish #BuyBritish #ShowCows #DairyCows #TeamDairy #Derbyshire #Ashbourne #BuyBritish #BackBritishFarming #LoveBritishFood #FarmersOfTheUK #NoFussMealsForBusyParents #MeetTheProducer #TheCountrysideKitchenMeets #Influencer #Regenuary #SustainableFood #LowFoodMiles #JerseyCows #PedigreeCows #AshbourneShow

Festive baking, let’s go🎄

*Recipe idea – Mince Pies using Jus-Rol pastry*

This is such an easy bake and great to getting the kids involved too. I don’t pretend to be a neat and tidy baker, especially when the kids are ‘lending’ a hand…!

Give these a go and share your pictures with me 📸

You’ll need:

A pack of ready roll pastry (sweet, shortcrust or puff)

A jar of mincemeat (I used the Aldi salted caramel variety)

1 egg

A sprinkle of sugar


  • Roll the pastry out and cut 12 circles as bases. Place in the muffin tray.
  • Spoon in 1 teaspoon of the mince meat into each base
  • Cut out 12 stars with the remaining pastry and seal on top of the mincemeat
  • Brush with egg
  • Sprinkle with some sugar
  • Place in the oven at 200c for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

Happy baking!

A bit burnt but who cares… they taste amazing!!



250G plain flour

50g rye flour

150g butter

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

25g of parmesan cheese

1 potato

2 onions

Handful of chopped chorizo or bacon

Pinch of thyme

150ml double cream

1 egg

50g Red Leicester cheese


Mix the flour, salt, cayenne pepper parmesan and butter together to form bread crumbs. Then add 1 egg and 5 tablespoons of water to bring pastry together.

Form a dough and place in the fridge for 30 mins.

Meanwhile chop the potato and onions thinly. Sweat the onions in some butter until soft then add the potato, cream and chorizo or bacon with a pinch of thyme. Cover for 10 mins until everything is soft.

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry on a floured surface then line a pie dish.

Take the mixture of the heat and allow to cool before adding the Red Leicester cheese. The left over pastry forms your pie lid. Roll out and place on top of your pie.Crimp and brush with egg.

Place in the oven at 200c for 45 mins until brown




It’s been a while since I’ve posted and so here’s a MEET THE PRODUCER feature piece on Musks Sausages, who I caught up with earlier this week 😋


So tell me, what’s the backstory/ heritage behind Musks? Where did it all begin?

Musks Ltd has been making sausages in Newmarket, Suffolk since 1884. We’ve been granted four consecutive Royal Warrants since 1907.

Our Newmarket Sausage is still made to the original recipe and when the UK was part of the EU, the Newmarket Sausage held PGI status, meaning it could only carry that name if made within the geographical area of Newmarket.

We produce on a daily basis at our modern factory and deliver to a local transport hub for wider distribution each afternoon. We have recently re-equipped with faster, more automated production and packaging equipment.

Musks Ltd is a family owned and operated business with around 16 full and part time employees.

What are the companies values?

High animal welfare, provenance and quality are core values at Musks. We only use UK sourced prime pork shoulder. Our products are known for their taste, texture and succulence.

We are very proud of our heritage. Our history, pedigree and Royal connections set us apart from other sausage producers.

We are SALSA Certified. Our products are supplied fresh and have a 10 day shelf life from the day of production.

Talk me through the range available…

Our flagship Newmarket Sausage, is also produced in jumbo, pinwheel, chipolata, cocktail and sausage meat formats. Our gluten free version was one of the first on the market – launched in 2001. We are somewhat unique in using cooked long grain rice as an ingredient. Our GF sausage became so popular that Waitrose took it nationwide, before launching their own version.

We have collaborated with Unilever brands on the recent launches of the official Musk’s Pork Sausage with Marmite and the official Musk’s Pork Sausage with Colman’s English Mustard. These new products have gained incredibly positive response from reviewers and customers alike.

We are currently in discussion with national retailers about possible listings but they are available to purchase via our online Food Hall.

We have just announced that our very popular Christmas Recipe Chipolatas and Sausage Meat will be available again from 16/11 until Christmas. Made with cranberries, chestnut puree and festive spices, customers are already placing pre-orders online to secure these seasonal products.

In January we will re-introduce our Slim & Slender reduced fat sausage, as people look to cut back on calorie intake. Succulence and texture are maintained through the use of specially selected shoulder cuts. Alternative reduced and low fat sausages on the market use leg and head meat for these products, that results in a dense and drier sausage.

Where can people purchase them from and how can they find out more?

We make and ship to the depots of four national supermarkets on a daily basis. Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons list some of our products in selected East Anglian stores. Our van delivery service supplies independent retailers, pubs, hotels, restaurants and even Michelin Star Chefs across the region.

Our online Food Hall at, launched during Covid restrictions, is open 24/7, taking orders for Musk’s and products from other quality regional producers.

These products include a range of hand cured, air dried bacons, black and white pudding, haggis, speciality hams and charcuterie, all produced within the six counties of East Anglia.

Selling direct to our customers provides them with increased choice. Each week we ship a growing number of Selection Boxes of East Anglian produce to new and returning customers across the UK.

Can you suggest a recipe that incorporates Musks that a busy parent would be able to replicate with ease:

We have two chefs in Cumbria and South Wales who regularly create and post recipes using our products. In due course we intend to create a broader recipe section on our website to accommodate these original dishes.

See for product reviews and some new recipes.

And for more information visit: or follow on social media:

Twitter: @MusksSausages




This dish is simply delicious and I’m delighted to be able to share with you 🌞

You might not be able to sit on a tropical beach just now, but eating some of my sunshine pudding will conjure up those flavour sensations that remind you of a favourite sun-soaked destination 🌴

You will need:

120g of unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

275g of self raising flour

1 tsp of baking powder

150g of brown sugar

2 lemons, zested and juice

200 ml of whole milk

4 eggs

3 passion fruits pulp (1 for mixture and 2 for the sauce)

100g of golden caster sugar

4 tbsp of marmalade

Vanilla ice cream to serve

Heat the oven to 200c

Grease a deep baking dish

Mix the flour, baking powder, lemon zest into a bowl

Meanwhile in a jug whisk the melted butter, milk, eggs and passionfruit together

Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine until you have a smooth batter mixture.

Pour batter mixture into the deep baking dish.

To make your sauce, combine the golden sugar, lemon juice, passionfruit and marmalade with 200ml of boiling water.

Carefully pour over the batter mixture

Place in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes

The sponge should be set and the sauce should be bubbling at the sides.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

It’s a real crowd pleasure and so simple to make.

Will you have a go?

#NoFussMealsForBusyParents #SunshinePudding #PassionFruit #PuddingRecipe #EasyRecipe #FamilyFood #MummyBlogger #Foodie #FoodBlog #Influencer #Sunshine #Yummy #TastyFood #RecipeInspiration #FoodTheKidsWillEat #Dessert #DessertIdeas #SimpleFood #WholeFood #FruitPudding



Eckley Farms is a family farming partnership, specialising in regenerative arable farming.

Guy, Claire, Mike and Vera Eckley farm in four locations around Maidstone, (Kent) including on the Leeds Castle Estate, with colleagues George, Callum and Jules. James and Tom Eckley help in the school holidays.

They are regenerative arable farmers producing arable crops, like wheat, oats, barley, oilseed rape, field beans and linseed.

They press all their oilseed rape into Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil on the farm. They also stonemill a few tonnes of their own wheat into flour every year.

Most of Pure Kent oil goes into food service and catering. Amongst others, they supply the awesome frozen food maker, COOK, with all their oil, and they definitely make No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents! They also supply restaurants, local shops, and even a prestigious private school!

When I asked Claire Eckley about why she loved producing food she said ‘Arable farmers aren’t usually seen at farmers markets, or out at food festivals, so it’s great to take the arable story and talk to people about how we farm, as well as our products. ‘

‘We’re proud of how we farm, and the people we supply, some of whom have worked particularly hard during the pandemic or made substantial changes to their businesses to keep people in jobs. ‘

‘Cold Pressed Rapeseed oil is a versatile oil and can be used at low temperatures for salad dressing, hummous and mayonnaise, medium temperatures like baking, and high temperatures like roasting and stir frying.

Your Yorkshire puddings will never stick and you might never use anything else for your roast potatoes! ‘

You can find more out about Pure Kent by visiting:

Facebook: Purekent

Twitter: @purekent

Instagram: @pure.kent

#MeetTheProducer #NoFussMealsForBusyParents #RapeseedOil #RegenerativeAgriculture #ArableFarming #UKAgriculture #FoodProducer #OilSeedRape #KentProducer #TasteOfKent #Foodie #EastMeals #Cook #LowFoodMiles #FieldToFork #EckleyFarms #FamilyFood #TheCookKitchen


With elderflower currently in season, I just had to catch up with my old chums Kirsty and Matt Willmott who I’ve known for many years through the young farmers and run their own business called Manor Farm Drinks.

Manor farm drinks is a small independent family business specialising in Elderflower cordial with Elderflowers home grown and hand picked on the farm in Hardwick village Northamptonshire.

Kirsty and Matt have now been making elderflower cordial and handmade soft drinks for over 10 years. They started by attending local events in and around Northamptonshire selling a variety of lemonades and of course their sparkling Elderflower.

The idea of the business came about many years ago when the family had a soft fruit farm in the village. The idea of Elderflower cordial was staring them right in the face in the hedgerows all across the farm.

So one summery June day they set out around the farm foraging for beautiful smelling elderflower bushes and the rest is history. They entered the Northamptonshire food and drink awards in 2018 after spending a long time perfecting their recipe, travelling to foodie events around the country, they came runners up which they were thrilled about!

During lockdown Kirsty and Matt decided to give their lovely Elderflower cordial a makeover with transparent labels that really show off the wonderful and unique golden colour of the cordial and the lovely new tall bottles which really make them stand out.

They currently only produce elderflower cordial but keep your eyes peeled for their next exciting drink in the autumn that they have up their sleeve.

Elderflower cordial is so versatile it can be used in a variety of ways. Most people would only think of pouring elderflower cordial in a glass over ice and topped with sparkling water. It can be used for making wonderful cocktails and mocktails.

Did you know there are so many other ways of using cordial?

You can use it in baking whether it be an elderflower drizzle cake or add it to your buttercream for a twist on a classic. Manor Farm Drinks favourite is to make it into a dressing for the perfect summer salad.

Recipe for elderflower dressing: 

3 tbsp Elderflower cordial
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp rapeseed oil

In a bowl add all of the above ingredients mix well and drizzle onto your salad to make the most simple recipe with the lovely floral notes of summer.

You can purchase from a lovely list of local stockists which are as follows:

Thomas family farm shop in Burton Latimer
Jeyes of Earls Barton
Whythmails cafe in Orlingbury and The Queens Arms Pub
The Roaming Artisan
The Three Cranes pub in Great Cransley
Dovecote Buttery and farm shop in Newton Village
Mollys pantry in Bletchley
The White Horse pub at Old

You can follow Manor Farm Drinks on Facebook: Manor Farm Drinks | Facebook or Instagram: Handmade Soft Drinks (@manor_farm_drinks)


I caught up with the team at Grazers of Ashby recently and here is what they had to say…

How long has Grazers of Ashby been in existence and what is your backstory?
We established Grazers in May 2019 as a way of diversifying the family farm which has been operating in our beautiful South Leicestershire village of Ashby Parva for more than four generations.

Along with our three children, we continue in our family’s footsteps rearing cattle, sheep and pigs. We believe strongly in traditional, slow-reared, grass-fed farming methods, with every animal being traceable.

We can tell you everything about the short supply chain from pasture to plate, and work only with British breeds, believing in the protection of our agricultural heritage.
We raise the animals on a grass only diet, encouraging a natural growth rate, which is free of additives and fattening aids, meaning the meat it produces is healthier for you and the environment.

How can people buy your produce?
It’s really simple! Through our website ( you can either select nationwide delivery or ‘click & collect’ at checkout.

With these options available, you can get our meats delivered directly from our pasture to your door, or collect from the farm gate and meet our family-run team.

In addition to this, we are opening a farm shop in June 2021 at which our 100% grass-fed, naturally-reared meats can be purchased alongside other fantastic producers from our local area.

We have loads of handy recipes listed on our website (, all tried and tested in the Grazers Kitchen!

When we are needing a quick and simple, yet healthy and wholesome meal for our three little ones, our go-to choices would be our beef meatballs, sausages or minced beef; all three of these can be put in so many easy recipes and are quickly prepared for a wholesome, healthy, no-fuss meal.

You can find out more by visiting or following on Instagram: @grazers_ofashbyparva or Facebook: Grazers of Ashby Parva

#NoFussMealsForBusyParents #MeetTheProducer #BackBritishFarming #LoveBritishFood #Provenance #Traditional #MeatProducer #FieldToPlate #GrazersofAshby #Leicestershire #LowFoodMiles #Grassfed #CarbonReduction #FamilyMeals #Cookingforthefamily