"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 twenty-one 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 fifteen, 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 seventeen 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.
About the Author
Sarah Frey has been described by The New York Times as "the Pumpkin Queen of America." She sells more pumpkins than any other producer in the United States. Her family business, Frey Farms, plants thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, and West Virginia. With a mission to end food waste in the fresh produce industry, the family makes natural food products and beverages from imperfect or "ugly fruit." Inspired by her humble beginnings and early life on the farm, she continues to create opportunities for those living and working in rural communities. Frey lives in Southern Illinois and is raising her two sons, William and Luke, on the same family farm where she grew up.