Book of the Month, Jan. 2023 - The Growing Season

January 2023 — The Growing Season

For our first selection of 2023, we bring you a title that’s been on our to-be-read list since it was released in 2021: The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life – and Saved an American Farm*+.

The youngest of a large family, Sarah Frey grew up on a struggling farm in southern Illinois, often having to grow, catch, or hunt her own dinner. She spent much of her 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.

Two years later, when the family farm faced 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, she began talking her way into suit-filled boardrooms, making deals with the nation’s largest retailers. Her negotiations became so legendary that Harvard Business School published some of her deals as case studies.

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. With fearlessness and creativity, she literally dug her destiny out of the dirt.

Click here to order the book or download the Kindle version. Order through our link and AgBookClub gets a little somethin’-somethin’ back from Amazon to help keep this website running. 

Here’s what you need to do this month:

Get the book. Buy it, borrow it, download and listen to it, read it over your neighbor’s shoulder — we don’t care. But don’t steal the book. 

Read the book.

  • Week 1: Intro and chapters 1-5 [pages ix-60] (Twitter chat on 1/4)
  • Week 2: Chapters 6-9 [pages 61-126] (Twitter chat on 1/11)
  • Week 3: Chapters 10-14 [pages 127-194] (Twitter chat on 1/18)
  • Week 4: Chapters 15-18, conclusion [pages 195-260] (Twitter chat on 1/25)

Join the chat (#AgBookClub) on Wednesdays at 8:00pm Central on Twitter. Learn how to participate in a Twitter chat here. While we hope you can participate in our discussion every week, we know that everyone has busy schedules. We always include general questions following the topic(s) of the book that can be answered by anyone, so please don’t hesitate to jump in the Twitter chat if you didn’t have a chance to read the section we’re discussing. We welcome any and all to join the discussion!

Happy reading!

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