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Seven Cities Sod carpets ball fields and backyards


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 10:51 am
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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com
One of the largest sod farms in Iowa got its start as a more typical Midwestern operation raising cattle, hots, corn and beans.
Fourth-generation farmer Norman Frye, however, always had innovation at heart, and when his son Lance left college in 1967, the two planted their first sod fields.
"It was either get bigger or diversify," explained Lance Frye. He said his father was always willing to entertain new ideas. "My dad had 22 patents at one time -- everything from motorcycles to self-starting tractors."
He put that creativity to work when naming the sod business. Lance said his father got the idea to name the business Seven Cities Sod, giving the smaller cities here more recognition.
That first year, he said, the city of Rock Island was the farm's biggest customer, as it was finishing the Illinois 92 bypass and doing a tremendous amount of overpass work, which required sod to be laid.
"That helped us out our first year," he recalled.
Lance said he thinks it was 1975 when they got out of traditional farming altogether, and the farm became 100 percent sod.
"Six hundred fifty acres, all Kentucky bluegrass," he noted.
Seven Cities Sod's customer list is impressive, including Iowa's official Field of Dreams, Chicago's O'Hare Airport, the Iowa Speedway in Newton, the St. Louis Rams practice facility at Macomb, and the University of Iowa's baseball and softball fields.
"But primarily we're residential, including new construction," said Lance.
Customers come from a 150-mile radius that includes Des Moines, Dubuque and Peoria. The season runs from April 1 through Thanksgiving.
Lance's son Keaton joined the business last year, becoming the sixth-generation of Frye farmers.
"He's been a great addition to our operation," said Lance. "He's taken over sales."
A daughter, Jill, has been office manager for 12 years.

For more information, call (563) 391-1663 or visit sevencitiessod.com.

For more information, call (563) 391-1663 or visit sevencitiessod.com.


















 



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  Today is Saturday, Sept. 20, the 263rd day of 2014. There are 102 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Recruits can get $500 by enlisting now. Lt Jobe has a recruiting office on Illinois Street.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Superintendent Schnitger formally inaugurated the Rock Island and Davenport Railway Line of the Holmes system by putting on four cars to start.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Wires of the defunct Union Electric Co. are being removed by city electricians.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The Bishop Hill softball team won the championship in WHB"S Mississippi Valley tournament at Douglas Park.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A boom in apartment construction has hit Rock Island, with approximately 300 units either in or near the construction stage or due for an early rezoning decision.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Members of the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission are hoping to revive their push for a new $70 million four-lane bridge spanning the Mississippi River.






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