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 Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.






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