The grass is always greener on the other side, so we went and paid a visit to Tifton Turf Farms.
Tifton Turf Farms was established in 1980.
“We used to have a Par-3 golf course here,” said Travis Massey, a third-generation owner of Tifton Turf Farms. “Now it’s all in sod production.”
“This particular grass we are harvesting in the field today is certified Zeon Zoysia, it is a brand name grass that is licensed by the tuft grass group and we’re a licensed grower.”
“For the most part, it’s a backyard grass.”
“A Sod harvester is basically a 90 horse tractor with a side-arm conveyor belt mounted on it with a cutter head at the bottom that shaves the sod about an inch deep off the ground. It cuts it into 24-inch long squares and runs it up a belt to the back where there are two guys that take turns getting pieces off the conveyor belt and stack it onto the pallet by hand.
“A lot of people think we’re actually strip mining the ground the amount of dirt on the bottom of one piece of 16 by 24 piece of sod is actually less than would fill up a solo cup.”
“Either 27 layers or 172 pieces. Whoever gets to the mark first hollers, ‘woah’ and they drop the pallet, put a fresh one on and keep on cutting.”
“[People] always want to know how does it grow back and I tell them it grows back from the dirt and their jaw drops.”
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