The Hook family farms on the Connecticut River in Vermont right near the New Hampshire border, and sometimes they do things the old-fashioned way. A few years back, Dean Hook realized the old barn needed replacing and so they decided to put the farm’s old sawmill to use. They milled their own lumber, installed the foundation, framed the barn, installed the rafters, and built themselves a beautiful, handcrafted barn for their herd of 200. The job took three years to complete because they had other things going on—like running their farm.
Dean and Claudette Hook took over the farm from Dean’s father Ken, who still helps out. Dean was raised on the farm with his sister, and he and Claudette raised their own two children there, in turn. Their son, Daniel, who never really liked farming as a youngster, has now returned to work on the family farm full-time. Like so many farm families, the Hooks are always willing to open their barn doors and particularly welcome local school groups.