In 2016, Darien Rozell moved into a blue house on six acres in Greenfield Center—a property she has since dubbed Pantry Hill—with plans to raise a family there. But before she could look too far into her future, the Saratoga native looked back. Way back.
“The name Pantry Hill encompasses our passions for cooking and gardening, but it also reflects a time when the pantry and kitchen were the cornerstones of the household,” Rozell says. “As we really dug into this lifestyle at Pantry Hill, I found myself fascinated with stories of my great-great-grandmother, Hannah Pearson.” A Swedish immigrant who moved to Cambridge, NY in the early 1900s, Pearson is remembered by her ancestors as a resourceful woman who raised 10 children while managing the working farm on which they lived. “Always in an apron, she was strong but warm,” Rozell says. “Her children and then grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered in her kitchen every Sunday for generations.”
Now, Rozell is passing on Pearson’s legacy of hospitality, community, hard work and homemaking to her own children, and documenting her family’s intentional way of life on her Instagram account, @pantry.hill. “Much of our inherited knowledge of cooking and gardening stems from Hannah,” she says. “We use her recipes, her dishware, tell her stories and share her photographs. Often, as I’m working in my garden or putting dinner on the table, I think of Hannah—of her grit, her patience, her love for her family and that farm. Her life was not one of excess, but it was full, and the memories are fond.”