The Growing Season: How I Saved an American Farm—and Built a New Life

Sarah Frey. Ballantine, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-12939-5
In this passionate, though humble, memoir, Frey, CEO of Frey Farms, writes of growing up in poverty and becoming a successful businessperson. Frey traces her scrappy upbringing on a ramshackle Southern Illinois farm in the 1970s, where the house didn’t have indoor plumbing and was heated only by a wood stove. There, she worked with her older brothers and father who insisted she do the same work as her brothers (in one particularly intense passage, her father insists that seven-year-old Sarah throw an enormous snapping turtle in the back of his pickup). After working summers with her mother selling melons to local grocery stores, a 15-year-old Sarah began spending more time on the road hauling produce than she spent in the classroom. At 18, she took out a loan and bought her family’s failing farm, which her father had nearly lost in foreclosure; by her early 20s, she was supplying tractor trailers full of produce to Walmart. As Frey explains, through sheer grit and business acumen—she was selective in what produce she sold, negotiated better prices with retailers, and aggressively marketed her goods—she had turned the mismanaged farm into a multimillion-dollar business with hundreds of employees. Frey’s energetic, inspiring memoir will appeal to small business owners and anyone who likes a bootstrapping success story. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/04/2020
Release date: 08/25/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-593-12940-1
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