Don Curtis, 42 years ago. I was 23 years old. Our first harvest is upcoming in the Spring of 1975. This “Superior Sod” Sign is hanging on our current office wall located at 7340 Market Street in Wilmington,North Carolina.
2. We built two metal buildings to house our offices and reception area, a full scale maintenance with a mechanic’s pit, and storage for all equipment during the winter months.
3. Our lighted billboard sign along Highway 93 – the main corridor between Kalispell and Whitefish, Montana.
4. Superior Sod experimental plots where I was able to judge the best cultivars and those that handled that handled the Montana winters the best.
5. Budgets were tight and our first harvesting was done by hand using two old Ryan Harvesters built in 1957. Exceptionally hard work!! We were able to afford a used Brouwer Harvester in 1982.
6. Every long slab was picked up from the field, folded in half and hand placed on the pallet. It would take us 4 hours to build a semi load’s worth of sod. With today’s equipment this process is less than one hour.
7. Our first Brouwer Harvester in 1982 forged our production time way ahead, and left little waste.
8. Rear view of our Brouwer Harvester
9. A set of Roseman mowers to fine tune our mowing just before a harvesting.
10. We made this water filled roller to roll all sod that was to be harvested that day to eliminate any inconsistencies in out cutting depth.
11. We purchased a Piggyback Forklift to load our pallets of sod onto a 10 pallet truck, and this forklift would attach itself to the rear of the bed for unloading the pallets and spotting them around at the job site.
12. Lifting itself up and riding on the back of a loaded truck.
13. A German Neimeyer – the very best machine as part of the process for preparing the soil for seeding the next crop.
14. In one pass the German Neimeyer has the soil ready to be lightly disced and rolled firm and smooth with a cultipacker.
15. The cultipacker was used extensively as the final process after employing the German Neimeyer to finalize the packing, firming and smoothing of the seed bed. THE FIELD BEFORE SEEDING HAD TO BE ABSOLUTELY PERFECT IN ORDER TO AVOID UNNECESSARY WASTE WHEN HARVESTING!
16 A five gang set of Jacobson reel mowers were used for maintenance mowing. The Roseman reels would put the final cut on the sod – the day of harvesting.
17. The 14’ wide Brillion Seeder used for seeding our fields.
18. Our pumping station along the Stillwater River. Two large Turbine pumps and a Centrifugal Pump was used to pump water up to a mile. Water was critical as we received little rain during the growing season.
19. With the approval and help of the MT. Dept. of Motor Vehicles, we assembled this truck and trailer system that could carry 34 pallets of sod throughout the state. We also loaded empty Coca Cola Trucks for their 10 hour journey back to Billings, Montana for another load of Coke for the Kalispell area.