Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

“A gutsy success story” (The New York Times Book Review) about one tenacious woman’s journey to escape rural poverty and create a billion-dollar farming business - without ever leaving the land she loves

The youngest of her parents’ combined 21 children, Sarah Frey grew up on a struggling farm in southern Illinois, often having to grow, catch, or hunt her own dinner alongside her brothers. She spent much of her early childhood dreaming of running away to the big city - or really anywhere with central heating. At 15, she moved out of her family home and started her own fresh produce delivery business with nothing more than an old pickup truck.

Two years later, when the family farm faced inevitable foreclosure, Frey gave up on her dreams of escape, took over the farm, and created her own produce company. Refusing to play by traditional rules, at 17 she began talking her way into suit-filled boardrooms, making deals with the nation’s largest retailers. Her early negotiations became so legendary that Harvard Business School published some of her deals as case studies, which have turned out to be favorites among its students. 

Today, her family-operated company, Frey Farms, has become one of America’s largest fresh produce growers and shippers, with farmland spread across seven states. Thanks to the millions of melons and pumpkins she sells annually, Frey has been dubbed “America’s Pumpkin Queen” by the national press. 

The Growing Season tells the inspiring story of how a scrappy rural childhood gave Frey the grit and resiliency to take risks that paid off in unexpected ways. Rather than leaving her community, she found adventure and opportunity in one of the most forgotten parts of our country. With fearlessness and creativity, she literally dug her destiny out of the dirt.

©2020 Sarah Frey (P)2020 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“With earnest, effective storytelling, Frey demonstrates her character: ‘impatient, driven, restless, and at time obsessive’ - and highly successful. A heart-gladdening memoir of a rare triumph over poverty.” (Kirkus Reviews

"Similar to Tara Westover’s Educated, this part memoir, part entrepreneurial story, tells of one woman’s success in business based on relationships of mutual trust with other farmers, accompanied by her sheer hard work.... The author also adds some of her thoughts on what it’s like to be a modern farmer, which are sometimes hilarious and often endearing. She has the inimitable quality of appearing not as someone who accomplished so much at such a young age but rather a person readers will enjoy getting to know, chapter by chapter. Frey brings a breath of fresh air to both the personal memoir genre and the business world. Her writing is crisp and her personality winning. A must-read.” (Library Journal, starred review)  

“Frey’s energetic, inspiring memoir will appeal to small business owners and anyone who likes a bootstrapping success story.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Growing Season

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational

This great story shows how the greatness of a this woman started from early years. What a magnificent story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down!

I adored this book! Sarah's story is so inspiring! Her commitment, determination and passion is something we can all learn from. "Go and get the win. And then another and then another." So much wisdom in this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest and Inspiring

Sarah’s story was entertaining and deeply honest. I appreciate her straightforward communication skills, her love of the earth and what it can offer and especially her initiative. Well done Sarah!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annette Law
  • 2020-09-12

Wonder story well narrated

I loved this book !Could not stop listening....Very informative as well as humorous...Thank You Sarah and god bless ....

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cindy Birkner
  • 2020-09-08

Excellent read by the author herself..

Great story, I hated to put it down. Sarah takes you on her incredible journey from humble beginnings to a successful business woman and farmer.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christy
  • 2021-01-11

This book will make you cringe and inspire you.

I loved hearing about Sarah's childhood, even the cringe worthy parts (Jesus eyes in the bedroom and a floppy deer in a dark field). Sarah is an inspiration to so many including me now. I think every young woman should read this book. I wish I had 20 years ago, I think I would have stood up for myself more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Katherine A Hill
  • 2021-01-11

A must read/listen for all!!!

This book was recommended to me and I didn’t quite understand why or remember who recommended it, but thank you 1000 times. The story had special meaning for me as a small business owner, mother, daughter, sister, friend....human. It inspired me so much that I have my 17 year old daughter listing to the story hoping to ignite her passions and beliefs anything can be accomplished with hard work, creative thinking, and desire to succeed. Thank you, Sarah Frey, for sharing your story!!! You are an inspiration!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kara Kellerman
  • 2020-11-28

Wonderful! Great book!

I relate to Sarah Frey, growing up in southern Illinois my whole life! Wonderful book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Scott Thornton
  • 2020-10-29

great story

thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. I laughed out loud several times. an amazing story, not just about pumpkins.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sarbekben
  • 2020-10-13

Sarbekben

Over the top amazing! Love that Sarah read this audible version, that she shared her past, the hard, the fun, the disturbing, and the lessons learned from her childhood. So proud of the women this strong girl grew up to be and that she uses her life for the good of others! I especially loved the perfect answers she hard for any hard question she faced. Awesome read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • denise wilson
  • 2020-10-10

Amazing!!!!

Loved every minute of it! Inspirational story! The book will take you on a journey of how it all started. I read the book also but really enjoyed listing to Sarah tell her story. This is a must Read/Listen or Both!!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellen Smitheal
  • 2020-10-07

Great read.

Loved the book. I listened to it on Audible. It was a great story and I am glad It was shared. Having Sarah Frey narrate her own story was a special touch. I think it’s a great book for young girls to read. I will gift this book to my daughters!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 2020-10-01

Amazing

Sarah Frey is the Steve Jobs of agriculture and a growing to every young person