A woman recording audio in a small room
Jim Kelly
December 18, 2014

Full Circle

Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts has 2014's stories - and those of the last 4 and a half years - in the rear view mirror.


A room full of aging cheese.
Lisa Bralts
December 04, 2014

Small World

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. 


A kitchen counter with green tomatoes and other ingredients
Lisa Bralts
November 05, 2014

Ode to the October Tomato

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. 


October 09, 2014

Bunch of Hooey

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.

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Red berries growing in an alley
Lisa Bralts
September 18, 2014

Right Up My Alley

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.


The cover of a book.
Lisa Bralts
August 20, 2014

Words on the Plate

As summer draws to a close, Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts happens upon writer Ava Chin's memoir, Eating Wildly, and discovers that being in the weeds isn't always a bad thing.


Basil plants with yellowing leaves
Lisa Bralts
July 30, 2014

Fungus Among Us

Hey - who invited basil downy mildew to the pesto party? In this episode of Backyard Industry, Lisa Bralts consults a couple of local experts about this (sort of) new-to-Illinois plant disease - and gets both good news and bad news.


A branch of unripe autumn olives
Lisa Bralts
July 17, 2014

Eat Them to Beat Them

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.


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. 


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".

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