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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

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1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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