Seven Cities Sod First Takes Root in 1966
In the mid 1960’s land prices were rising and Norman Frye, a 4th generation farmer on the same plot of land, knew he either had to get larger or diversify. In 1966 he took a 30 acre pasture and started renovating it by rolling and fertilizing to bring it up to standard for planting sod. while renovating the pasture he planted 60 acres of Marion Bluegrass thus the start of Seven Cities Sod. The name came about from the original seven communities that made up the Quad Cities and surrounding areas: Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, Silvis, Milan, and East Moline.
The first sale of sod was made from Seven Cities Sod
1960s & 70s
Each year we added more acres of sod and over time phased out the livestock and row crop part of the farm
Became a full-fledged sod farm, consisting of 550 acres of only Kentucky Blue Grass varieties
We converted to Princeton Harvesters that were able to cut slab sod on pallet.
We received a phone call from the producers of the iconic movie “Field of Dreams” to furnish the sod necessary for the baseball field and the surrounding site.
Since 1988 we have continued to grow and improve our Seven Cities Sod Low Mow Blend of Kentucky Bluegrass
The first sod farm in Iowa to incorporate “big roll” production
We have expanded our acreage to 650 acres, of which 400 acres is under irrigation while still providing the most up-to-date Kentucky Bluegrass blend of which the industry demands
THE DETAILS OF OUR STORY
We originally were only using Ryan Sulky Sod Cutters which enabled us to cut and roll sod on the ground and load sod by hand onto trucks. In 1987, we converted to Princeton Harvesters that were able to cut slab sod on pallets which made it possible to load trucks by use of forklifts which, in turn, cut our labor force drastically.
We knew we had made our mark in 1988 when we got a phone call from the producers for the iconic sports movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner being filmed in Dyersville, Iowa to furnish the sod necessary for the baseball field and the surrounding site.
Since 1988 we have continued to grow and improve our Seven Cities Sod Low Mow Blend of Kentucky Bluegrass we offer to stay on par with the demands of the industry. We have stayed on the cutting edge of technological advances within our industry by becoming the first sod farm in Iowa to incorporate “big roll” production in 1993 which has since raised the volume of sod that is able to be harvested. Along with this “big roll” innovation it enabled us to venture into sod installation with big rolls only.
As of today, we have expanded our acreage to 650 acres, of which 400 acres is under irrigation while still providing the most up-to-date Kentucky Bluegrass blend of which the industry demands. Our service area includes, but is not limited to, Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois, and Southern Wisconsin, usually within the parameters of a 150 mile radius of the Quad Cities. Currently, our work force consists of four full-time employees and ten seasonal employees. This has been a family owned and operated business from the start that has progressed since Norman Frye started it in 1967. Lance Frye, Norman’s son, has become the 5th generation on the farm and in the spring of 2012 his son, Keaton Frye, joined him and became the 6th generation Frye to carry on the operation. To emphasize the family atmosphere at Seven Cities Sod our office manager, Jill Oostendorp, step-daughter of Lance, and Sister to Keaton has been with us since 2001 and remains a crucial part in the day-to-day operations of the business.