Discover more from Murray Bridge News
Scents of achievement: How a lavender empire has grown on Murray Bridge’s east side
Read an excerpt from the cover story in the spring 2023 edition of Murraylands Life magazine, available this Friday, September 15.
Note: The following is an excerpt from a story in the spring 2023 edition of Murraylands Life magazine, available free of charge from retailers, accommodation providers and visitor information centres from September 15. Scroll down to find out where to get your copy.
Fragrance fills the air and bees buzz about between purple flowers at Brayfield Park, Rhona and Allen Parker-Benton’s property on the east side of Murray Bridge.
You zig-zag along a path through stalks of lavender towards the river valley below, pausing to take in the view: verdant river flats, the water’s gentle brown curve, the bridges and buildings beyond them and, above it all, a wide, blue sky.
Any gardener would be rightly proud of this place, but for Rhona, tending this hillside is more than just a hobby.
Over the past 25 years, Brayfield Park has grown from an unlikely idea into a thriving enterprise which exports lavender products from the Murraylands to China and beyond.
Rhona can tell you the difference between every kind of lavender flower, how it is grown and what it might become.
“There are so many types of angustifolia,” she says.
“‘Avice Hill’ I use a lot for cosmetics, and others very often use for culinary purposes.
“We also have what nearly every lavender farm in Australia grows: ‘grosso’, lavandula x intermedia … it lasts a lot longer and the fragrance is really good, so it’s good for heat bags and dried crafts.”
Lavender is a herb in the same floral family as mint and basil, she explains – a family associated with strong aromas.
She offers a pinch of the dried flower for a taste.
It has a strong, cool flavour, reminiscent of the palate-cleansing mukhwas you might sample to freshen your breath after an Indian meal.
“Angustifolia has calming properties and healing properties,” Rhona goes on.
“It’s antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, often used for muscle rubs and creams and things like that,” she says.
“Some are sweeter, some are softer, some are quite bold and strong.”
Read more: Pick up a copy of the spring 2023 edition of Murraylands Life magazine from a retailer, accommodation provider or visitor information centre near you from this Friday, September 15.
Where to get your copy of Murraylands Life magazine
Murraylands Life magazine will be available free of charge at retailers, accommodation providers and visitor information centres around the region, as well as selected VICs around South Australia.
Find your free copy from this Friday, September 15, at:
Karoonda: IGA, Karoonda Hotel, Karoonda Post Office, Karoonda Visitor Information Centre
Mannum: Big 4 Breeze Holiday Park, Foodland, Mannum Motel, Mid Murray Council, OTR, Pretoria Hotel, United
Meningie: Foodland, Lake Albert Caravan Park, Meningie Hotel
Monarto: Monarto Community Postal Agency, Monarto Safari Park
Murray Bridge: Ampol, Avoca Dell Caravan Park, Big W, Coles, Coles Express, Daily Deli, Drakes, EG Ampol, Farm Fresh Market, the GCS, IGA Swanport, IGA Westside, McCue’s Bakery, Murray Bridge Marina, Murray Bridge Newsagency, Murray Bridge Tourist Park, Murray Bridge Visitor Information Centre, OTR Adelaide Road, OTR Eastside, OTR Swanport Road, Southside Newsagency, Tasco Ampol, United, Woolworths, X Convenience
Mypolonga: Mypolonga General Store
Tailem Bend: Big 4 Holiday Park, Coorong District Council, Coorong Realty, Elders Real Estate, Foodland, Riverside Hotel, Rydges Pit Lane Hotel, Tailem Bend Bakery, Tailem Bend Community Centre, Tailem Bend Hotel
Wellington: Wellington Hotel, Wellington Mini Mart
Copies may take until early next week to reach some locations.
If you can’t find a copy at your local pick-up point, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll circle back to top up supplies as required.
Alternatively, subscribe to Murraylands Life magazine at murraybridgenews.square.site and we’ll post our next four editions direct to you for the cost of postage and handling.
More information: www.murraylands.life.
Locals support locals. Your support helps Murray Bridge News tell important local stories.