Letter from The Ferns Vegetarian B & B chatting about Newport Nocture, fruit trees, coffee and National Vegetarian Week

Newport Nocturne

Some of the country’s top cyclists will return to Newport for the biennial ‘Newport Nocturne’ cycle race. The racing starts  in the evening and goes on until the main event which takes place on the floodlit streets of Newport. This is a huge event for Newport and attracts about 15,000 visitors. The event usually takes place in September but it had to be squeezed between the Tour of France and the Tour of Britain this year. The  date has now been agreed with  British Cycling , and this will be Saturday 30th August. There will be both mens and women’s races; in the last race Wiggo’s wife took part in the inaugural ladies race.

Here are some images of the last race which was in 2012

The winner 2012

The winner 2012


Winners also  win their weight in beer

The winner also wins his weight in beer

The race is commentated on by the famous cyclist, Hugh Porter, and you can always see with him Anita Lonsbrough, his wife. She comes and helps

The end of the mens race

Taking a lap of honour, 2012








One of the competitors from the ladies race

One of the competitors from the ladies race

My fruit garden

I always have fruit from the garden on the breakfast table. Sometimes soft fruit, sometime ‘hard fruit’ – it that the correct term? I think I’m making this up as I go along! Anyway, here are some of my fruit trees; taken today

Williams pear April 2014

Williams pear april 2014

Many of my  fruits are cordons, which work well down my garden path.  Above is the Williams pear – flower are now past their best. This tree is getting better and better – a good fruiter every year these days This – along with my peach – are my earliest flowerers.

apple russet april 2014

Apple Russet April 2014

The Russet cordon, above, always does well. The James Grieve, below, is a martyr to codling moth. I have tried grease bands and sticky tar but to no avail. This year I have bought a pheromone trap – so we’ll see if that works. We have also had dieback on this tree.

james grieve apple april 2014

James Grieve apple April 2014

This tree isn’t a cordon. Because of the  die back we have had to be severe with pruning  – as a result it looks  rather strange.  The apples are very useful. They are the first of my apples to ripen, and initially we use them as ‘cookers’, then as the fruit starts to turn yellow/red, they become succulent eaters – almost like I should image a cider apple would be.

I also have cherry, peach and fig trees, but they don’t look very attractive at this time of the year, so I won’t show you pictures of them!

Our Coffee

The last topic I  was intending to chat about today was our coffee. We always use ‘Fairtrade’, and because we just love the Co-op Italian  for our everyday  breakfast coffee, this is what I brew up for my guests.  I have been learning that ‘Italian’ is simply a style of coffee. The coffee beans that the Co-op buy are from Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica  and  Tanzania

For  more information see https://www.co-operative.coop/Corporate/PDFs/Coffee%20Report.pdf

This particular webpage  – “What a difference a penny makes”  – is a joint project from The Co-op,  Fairtrade and Oxfam.


We lived for three years in Papua New Guinea, where we were able to buy Papuan Arabica coffee. It was interesting that the ‘nationals’ were really not interested in the ‘cash nexus’, and, if there was a local disputes  in the villages, they could happily leave the coffee crop to rot while they went on a rampage. Oh dear!  Occasionally, when I see  PNG  coffe,  I will buy it, to help support their growers, but you don’t see if very often.

I am supporting Vegetarian Week 19th – 25th May and visitors here then will get a 10% reduction.

We look set for another lovely summer, lets hope so!

Best wishes, Linda