• The Growing Season

  • How I Built a New Life - and Saved an American Farm
  • By: Sarah Frey
  • Narrated by: Sarah Frey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (415 ratings)

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The Growing Season  By  cover art

The Growing Season

By: Sarah Frey
Narrated by: Sarah Frey
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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

Critic Reviews

 "“Riveting . .  . Intensely memorable . . . Persistence, candor, and confidence are at the heart of all [Sarah Frey’s] interactions, whether it’s talking her way into a meeting with a reluctant fruit seller or confronting a bank that mistreats her Mexican seasonal workers.”—The Boston Globe

“Through tragedies and setbacks, Frey has remained resolute and devoted to her business and family. Her charisma and chutzpah leap off the page.”Minneapolis Star Tribune 

“A remarkable story about perseverance and innovation.”Forbes 

What listeners say about The Growing Season

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A must-listen about a Midwestern girl with a whole lotta moxie!!!

The audio version of The Growing Season is fantastic!!! There is something really special about hearing Sarah Frey tell the story. She has such an energetic, outgoing and likable personality that draws you into her amazing book. It's equal parts captivating, heartbreaking, incredible and hilarious. Ensure you don't have to be somewhere when you start this because it's just too good to hit pause...

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Wonder story well narrated

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

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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.

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Inspirational

A story that any woman will find inspirational, and hopefully, quite a few men as well. I don't think anyone can argue the fact that Sarah Frey is an impressive woman. I'm a fan for life.

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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.

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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!

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  • Jk
  • 01-03-22

It could have been better!

A wonderful story. Yet I could not stand the narrator’s voice. The inflection was off. It sounded whiny. Too bad.

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Wonderful! Great book!

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

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great story

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

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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!

1 person found this helpful