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 Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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