Garden and Floral Art Club's cheesy meeting

Shaun Patrick and Wayne Austin. Shaun won an award with his gourds.
Shaun Patrick and Wayne Austin. Shaun won an award with his gourds.

Beston Global Foods quality and environment manager Wayne Austin was the guest speaker at the Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club's March meeting.

Mr Austin's informative and entertaining discussion looked at the company's range of cheese products.

With its Australian headquarters based in Adelaide and its production outputs in Murray Bridge and Jervois, Beston Global Food Company is a South Australian company providing employment for nearly 300 people.

Launched in July 2016, the Beston's "Edwards Crossing" range of cheeses takes its name from George Edwards, one of the original European settlers of the Murray Bridge region who with his wife Mary built the 'Edwards' homestead.

Before officially being named Murray Bridge, the European settlers referred to the area as Edwards Crossing.

Describing himself as "a bit of a cheese nerd," Mr Austin was brought up on a dairy farm in Boat Harbour, a tiny farming community, somewhat akin to Jervois, about two hours west of Launceston in Tasmania.

Mr Austin's career in cheese production began at 16 when he started 22 years' worth of work at the cheese factory in Wynyard.

In 2002 he, wife Sue and the family moved to Murray Bridge when Mr Austin started at the Jervois cheese factory.

Mr Austin had organised members around four tables with an array of cheeses before them, and outlined the production and characteristics of the Edward's Crossing cheeses and Mable's cream cheese products.

The first cheese to be sampled was two Mable's cream cheeses: the melon and mango, and sweet chilli.

"Although cream cheese or Philadelphia cheese is the easiest of the cheese to make, the company buys in the cream cheese and then adds the various flavours to produce the Mable's range," Mr Austin said.

Mozzarella was the next cheese to be sampled by club members.

"Mozzarella, which is a cooking cheese, is our biggest product and is made locally at Jervois, with 200 tonne a week produced, of which 60 per cent is for the local market with the rest exported to South East Asia," he said.

Club members were then tempted by Beston's Colby cheese - the perfect cheese for grilling, sandwiches and salads.

"Colby is a cheddar type style of cheese being a sweeter softer milder cheese. It's an American style of cheddar which is pretty popular," he said.

"It's in our Edwards Crossing range and is available locally at Woollies, IGA and Drakes."

Lastly, he outlined the company's hard range of vintage cheeses including the Parmesan and Gruyere cheese.

Due to the coronavirus precautionary measures, the Murray Bridge Garden and Floral Art Club will be suspending all meetings and gatherings until further notice.

March competition results

Floral Arrangement: 1st B Rule, 2nd B & D Hoffman, 3rd D Griffiths

Fruit: 1st P Crowley, 2nd D Woidt, 3rd R & C Butcher

Large Garden Cut: 1st P Christian, 2nd P Christian, 3rd D Griffiths

Small Garden Cut: 1st B Rule, 2nd B and D Hoffman, 3rd P Christian

Rose Bloom: 1st P Christian, 2nd R and C Butcher, 3rd D Woidt

Miniature Rose Bloom: 1st B Rule, 2nd R and C Butcher, 3rd R and C Butcher

Vegetables: 1st S Patrick, 2nd S Patrick, 3rd B Rule

Home Produce: 1st B Rule, 2nd D Woidt

Pots/Containers/Hanging Baskets: 1st R and C Butcher, 2nd P Christian, Equal 3rd R and C Butcher, and R and C Butcher

Craft: 1st P Crowley, 2nd J Lucas, 3rd B and D Hoffman

Dahlia over 1 Bloom: 1st D Griffiths, 2nd D Griffiths, 3rd D Woidt

Novelty Pot: 1st P Christian, 2nd B Rule, 3rd D Woidt

Autumn Bulbous/Tuberous/Rhizomous: 1st P Christian, 2nd B Rule, 3rd D Woidt

Champion: S Patrick