CHIRPY, CHIRPY CHEEP CHEEP … A CHICKEN LED TREE-CHANGE

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By Elisa Cirene

The Belleview Farm story is reminiscent of many migrant stories where people moved to Australia seeking a better life while holding on to fond memories of their childhood. Volkan Ali (known as Ali) was nearly twenty when he made the big move from North Cyprus to Australia in the early 1970s.

He packed his bag with excitement and hope for the new opportunities that would come his way.

Ali started working as a renderer and plasterer, saving enough money to purchase a house in Chirnside Park for his young family. As much as he loved his new suburban home with garden, Ali still felt the pull and nostalgia of the farm where he was raised as a child. Buying a handful of chickens helped him and his wife Serpil connect with their roots and fond memories of the farm life back home.

Life as a renderer and plasterer was enjoyable but also back breaking and as the years passed Ali dreamt of one day owning a chicken farm. In 2012, the dream came to life when Ali along with his daughter Sev, took the plunge and opened a small boutique farm in Park Orchards. The family was absolutely delighted – yes, it was hard work setting up the farm but they absolutely loved living in the country with beautiful views selling authentic pasture raised eggs such as duck, hen, geese and quail. From their humble beginnings of five chickens back in Chirnside Park, they now look after several hundred chickens.

Taking great pride in the care of their livestock, they ensure they are fed a nutritious, hormone free and vitamin enriched diet and the birds roam during the day making their way back to their coops at sunset where they are kept safe from predators.

With great plans for 2021 they hope to open a farm-gate store selling eggs, juice, organic fruit and vegetables fresh from the farm. For now you can find Sev at Juicello at Grazeland or you can grab Belleview Farm’s finest quality free-range eggs at the Slow Food Melbourne markets every fortnight.

Slow Food markets: 2nd Saturday of the month at Happy Receptions, 199 Sunshine Rd, West Footscray and 4th Saturday of the month at Spotswood Kingsville RSL, 59 The Avenue, Spotswood.

(Slowfood Melbourne is a Community Partner providing financial support to The Westsider)

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