Mick Prochko Passed Last Summer….

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Tim Liston
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Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 3:10 pm

Mick Prochko Passed Last Summer….

Postby Tim Liston » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:40 am

A handful of you remember Mick Prochko. I wanted to take a second to mention that Mick passed quite unexpectedly last summer.

When LEAF got started around 12 (?) years ago, it needed a produce farmer to help by bringing in share bags once a week for the then-incipient CSA program. Mick and wife Kay (and son Steve) ran Covered Bridge Gardens and were already doing a couple other CSA programs nearby, one I know was downtown, another in Avon. So Covered Bridge Gardens brought in share bags to what was then Bela Dubby on Madison, and about 15 of us picked them up in that first year. We were on the honor system.

Covered Bridge and LEAF grew quickly and moved to the Library’s “front porch” for a few years, and at one point Covered Bridge had around 125 CSA subscribers and was the biggest CSA drop around. But a variety of circumstances, including a change in LEAF night from Wednesday to Thursday, caused business to decline. Mick couldn’t change to Thursday, we stuck with Wednesday and distributed from Root (thank you Julie and Bobbie!) until the diminished volume of business couldn’t justify the time, effort and diesel fuel.

Though LEAF has done very good things here, I always had a bit of an axe to grind. They promoted City Fresh and worked to find volunteers to help them set up and operate their Library distribution, but took Covered Bridge for granted. Even though Covered Bridge was hauling in and selling not only the shares, but (unlike City Fresh) a variety of fresh (as in picked today!) vegetables and herbs anyone could walk up and buy. So I volunteered to help Mick and Kay every Wednesday for several years, and enjoyed every minute of it. Fresh air, exercise, great people and great eats. Covered Bridge is a real farm. 100+ acres. City Fresh just buys wholesale, like Giant Eagle, but distributes like a real CSA. A pretend CSA. Big deal. If I'm gonna settle for day-old in the middle of summer I’ll go to Heinen’s and buy what I want, when I want it and no kale please. And it hasn’t escaped my notice that farmers are no longer to be found at LEAF night.

But enough with the rant. If you had an occasion to chat with Mick back then, take a second to reflect on the contribution he, Kay, Steve and Covered Bridge made to the early days of LEAF here in Lakewood. Thanks Mick for helping us get started and thanks for the fresh produce and endless hours of conversations….



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