Chickens in a chicken coop.
Lisa Bralts
July 02, 2014

Tour de Coop

As of January 2014, backyard chickens are legal in Champaign, Illinois. What better way to introduce curious friends and neighbors to the concept than to have an open house... for your chicken coop? It seems other wheels are turning, too... Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts investigates.


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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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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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A turkey on pasture.
Lisa Bralts
November 20, 2013

Bird of Courage

In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts channels her inner Ben Franklin and goes off in search of the bird he held in such high esteem - the turkey.


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A photo of a carton of eggs
Lisa Bralts
June 28, 2012

Fear and Poaching in Urbana

In this episode of In My Backyard, decidedly amateur egg-poacher Lisa Bralts gets a lesson from cook/author Millicent Souris that starts at a local farm and ends in the kitchen.


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Two young women shear a sheep in a barn.
Lisa Bralts
March 29, 2012

Shear Madness

Just like us, sheep stop wearing their wool when the weather gets warmer. In this segment of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts visits a small farm in Sidney to watch a sheep shearing guru teach the craft to some novice shearers - and some novice sheep.


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Several ducks in a pen
Lisa Bralts
December 06, 2011

Leaves Are a Duck’s Best Friend

So -  what did you do with all those leaves this fall? In My Backyard's Lisa Bralts discovered a fortuitous, sustainable, and very local alternative to bagging them and leaving them for pickup.


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July 30, 2010

The Buzz on Bees

This week Lisa talks to a backyard beekeeper whose hive is not in the country -- but in the city.


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