Little Creek Meadows is located in Harford County, Maryland.
Get to know us a little better...
In an effort to foster a self-sustaining lifestyle for their growing family, Joe and Dawn Bero purchased this 14 acre plot and immediately settled in the original farmhouse. Since the property had been vacant for several years prior to the purchase in 1997, much work was put towards clearing the brush and overgrowth. Then a focus was made to get the property manageable for animals.
Below is an aerial view of the property taken prior to 1997 (date unknown). MD Route 165 can be seen heading north on the left side of the photograph. The barn/cow palace and the corn crib appear as white buildings in the bottom right corner of the image. The farmhouse is hidden among the many large clustered trees at the bottom.
Here & Now:
The nostalgia of "the good 'ole days" permeates throughout the property. The traditionally-styled farmhouse was built in 1875. It sits upon a stone foundation and it's roof is constructed of slate tiles. An amish-built barn sits atop the hill and serves as the anchor of the farm. Originally used to store hay, it now serves as a working barn alongside a rustic corncrib which is now in use as a permanent run-in shelter for the llamas in the barnyard. The original milkhouse has been converted into the henhouse/brooder with an attached coop.
As you enter the farm down the gravel drive, you pass Little Creek on your left. This spring-fed creek originates on the property and feeds into the nearby Deer Creek which is a major tributary of the Susquehanna River. As such, Little Creek and it's surrounding areas are recognized by the State of Maryland as a Natural Resource District. In cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), a Forest Stewardship Plan has been developed under the CREP program to plant a riparian buffer around the creek to improve the habitat for fish and wildlife as well as conserving soil and water. Approximately 450 native trees were planted on the property in the Spring 2005 as part of the program.
We have initiated a complete renovation of our main pasture. We conducted a 'Pasture Walk' with representatives from the USDA & our local Soil Conservation District. The llamas have been taken off the filed and plans are now being implemented to make Little Creek Meadows a demonstration site for a endophyte-free fescue typically marketing for cattle. We are very excited about this project.
In keeping with the motto of "Farming as if Nature Matters," the brush is kept under control by the goats and sheep (as shown in the picture at left), the land is turned by the hogs, the guineas control the tick population, the chickens eat insects and share their eggs with us while the llamas and alpacas graze and provide fiber and organic fertilizer, etc.
Our Many Tomorrows:
Future plans for LCM include the remodeling of the former cow palace/milking parlor into a llama nursery and 'sick bay' area for needy animals.
Also, some modifications will be made to our barn to convert it from a hay barn to a shelter which provides the proper amenities and layout for the llamas and alpacas.
Aside from the main pasture which has been surrounded with a new permanent fence, the layout of all the remaining open land will be reworked to maximize use for grazing and planting. In order to lengthen the grazing period for the animals, an intensive rotational grazing plan is currently being developed in cooperation with the USDA & and our local Soil Conservation District; we hope to be able to implement that plan no later than 2007. When finalized, additional fencing will be installed as well as additional run-in shelters and automatic waterers which will be scattered about the newly established pastures and paddocks.
Hopefully, our livestock base will expand to include Dexter cattle to provide beef, milk and labor. To round off the goal of self-sufficiency, we will be planting an orchard and a vegetable/herb garden.
"Work Hard, Play Hard"
Amidst all of the excitement of the farm, the Bero Boys still find time to hike around the property, fish at the nearby pond, climb some trees and watch the clouds roll by, accompanied by our family dog, Mousse (a chocolate lab). Life certainly is good at Little Creek Meadows.
LITTLE CREEK MEADOWS, LLC
4327 Federal Hill Road
Street, MD 21154-1124
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ALL CONTENTS Copyright © 2005 Little Creek Meadows, LLC
This page last modified: August 31, 2005