Lisa Bralts has long worked with small, artisanal food producers and is quite fond of the concept. But what does it mean in 2014? She reviews author Suzanne Cope's new book, Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits, and the Return of Artisanal Foods, in this episode of Backyard Industry.
The end of tomato season is generally a sad affair for local eaters. In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts discovers that green tomatoes are in disguise - they only LOOK like they're not ready to be eaten.
Urbana, IL batik artist Jill Miller took a basic arts and crafts class back in college. Once she discovered batik - making art with wax and dye and fabric - she forgot all about that degree in sociology. In this Backyard Industry video, Lisa Bralts and Tim Meyers talk with Jill about her food/garden inspirations and get invited over for corndogs.
Residential alleys are usually ignored spaces, rarely considered to be extensions of where we live. In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts revisits her neighborhood alleys and muses on their shortcomings... and potential.
Backyard Industry and Illinois Public Media, along with several other Urbana organizations and businesses, are helping to get the film Spinning Plates on a local screen - and it's happening outside this weekend! The film follows three very different restaurants and investigates what keeps them going; the tagline is "It's not what you cook. It's why", which fits right in with BYI's mission.
Things will get started around dusk in the Busey Bank parking lot at Main and Race in Downtown Urbana. Bring your family and friends, and bring your own chairs, blankets, and snacks (you can also do carryout from one of the nearby restaurants) as well.
Some of the BYI team will be in attendance - see you there!
In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts explores the concept of foraging and eating particular invasive species, like the autumn olive, as one way of slowing them down.
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.
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.
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.
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".