A woman's hand is shown shearing a sheep.
Tim Meyers
June 04, 2014

Backyard Industry Video 2.0: Wool Gathering

Ever wondered where the wool your sweater's made out of comes from? All wool is shorn by a person - it's one task that isn't automated! In this, the second video by the Backyard Industry team, Lisa Bralts learns a thing or two (and gets her hands on some clippers) while visiting Seven Sisters Farm in Sidney, Illinois. 

Video

A muskrat swims up a creek.
Rob Kanter
June 03, 2014

Urbana Bestiary

Brushes with urban wildlife are mostly unplanned and often unwanted occurrences. In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts connects with Environmental Almanac's Rob Kanter to have some planned and wanted face time with local fauna - and the local fauna delivers.


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Three jars of pickled asparagus with a cookbook
Lisa Bralts
May 01, 2014

Life Preserver

Food preservation is mostly associated with instructions that must be followed to the letter (OR ELSE) and a crazy frenzy of production during the peak of the growing season. Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has found a cookbook that not only makes the process seem less intimidating, it also soothes with terrific stories and photos, gently encourages production year round, and reminds the reader they don't have to grow it all. 


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A handful of red wiggler worms.
Lisa Bralts
April 23, 2014

Wiggle Room

Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has always been a fan of the worms working in her compost pile at home. It turns out the folks at the Sustainable Student Farm on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus are fans, as well, but on a much larger scale. 


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March 25, 2014

Ramen Shaman

Urbana, IL chef and culinary pop-up proponent Mark Hartstein is fond of pickles, Hello Kitty, and extremely mainstream pop music. He and his wife Leslie also prepare a mean bowl of ramen when the occasion arises, which it did this past January at their "Saru Ramen" pop-up. Not only did they bring together and feed many patient locals on that frigid Tuesday night (with proceeds going to benefit the Eastern Illinois Foodbank), they even let Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts "help".

Video

A group of people playing lawn games inside
Lisa Bralts
March 20, 2014

Off Season

What do you do when the worst of winter is over, but it's still too cold and snowy to go outside? Lisa Bralts experiments with bringing a favorite outdoor summer activity indoors on this week's Backyard Industry.


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Several jars of homemade yogurt on a counter
Lisa Bralts
February 18, 2014

Whey To Go

In her quest for some so-called "project cooking" over the weekend, Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts instead ends up (finally) using a dormant kitchen gadget, reducing (just a little) the contents of her recycling bin, and revisiting the idea of making, instead of buying, staple foods.


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A stack of bowls on a kitchen table.
Lisa Bralts
February 06, 2014

Bowled Over

The cravings for comfort food have been almost as strong as our winter so far this season. Lisa Bralts explores the concept and appeal of a meal in a bowl in this edition of Backyard Industry.


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A man's hands displaying pears still on the tree.
Lisa Bralts
December 31, 2013

Farewell, 2013

2013 was another busy year at In My Backyard HQ. In this episode, Lisa Bralts goes over the highlights, gives a few updates, and looks ahead to 2014... but not before a short hibernation. In My Backyard returns to AM580 on February 6, 2014.


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A page from a homemade cookbook.
Lisa Bralts
December 19, 2013

Mint Condition

It's not often Lisa Bralts gets three generations of women in one room (with extra family members) to talk about anything, much less a particular type of homemade Christmas candy they make - candy that is immediately adored by anyone who tries it. But that's exactly what happened when she visited with the Delaney-Snyder women in this episode of In My Backyard.

 

Mint Patties:

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon peppermint oil

2 lbs. powdered sugar
Food coloring (optional)

Beat the cream cheese until creamy, then beat in the extract. Beat in the powdered sugar until well blended.  Depending on your mixer, you may have to use your hands to fully incorporate the sugar.  The mixture will be smooth and like a stiff dough. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Pinch off small amounts of dough (rounded teaspoon). Roll into a ball then press flat with your palm or a glass. Place on wax-paper lined baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, for an hour. Melt a 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips with small amount of paraffin (1 X 2 inch block) and drop the peppermint patties in one at a time, turning and lifting out with a fork or toothpick. Quickly tap off excess and use another fork or your finger to help slide the dipped patty onto another waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Once all patties are dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 15-30 minutes. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated or frozen.


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