Though the calendar and the weather aren't necessarily matching up this year, it doesn't matter - the holidays are upon us, whether we're ready for them or not. For In My Backyard's Lisa Bralts, it's all about balance - taking stock of what happened in 2011, but looking ahead to the New Year, with its plans and possibilities.
Even garden veterans and able cooks have vegetables they irrationally fear. For Lisa Bralts, that vegetable is squash. Find out how she plans to finally get around this phobia in this week's segment of In My Backyard.
After hearing about someone who built a cider press made from an old washing machine, In My Backyard's Lisa Bralts went investigating in the neighborhood and chanced upon something even better. If you're an omnivore, that is.
Even though canning gets most of the attention during the food preservation season, Lisa Bralts finds that there's nothing to be afraid of when it comes to pickling and fermentation in this segment of In My Backyard.
Urbana-Champaign's vibrant local food culture isn't a recent phenomenon - it's been brewing for over 30 years. This week, Lisa examines the community's - and her own - ties to an important part of that food culture: the Urbana Park District's organic garden plots at Meadowbrook Park and now, Victory Park.
Maple trees have been tapped and sap has been collected. Now what? Time to boil it down. Lisa goes over the details of the very first sap boil done by her neighborhood's maple sugaring outfit, the Prairie Sugar Collective.
February is the longest shortest month, full of bad weather and seemingly devoid of any meaningful outdoor work. That is, it was... until one of Lisa's neighbors convinced the others to work together to tap into a precious local resource.
With the mercury dropping, fresh snow on the ground, and spring barely on the horizon, Lisa looks for a little inspiration before settling in with the seed catalogs.
Lisa goes DIY extreme with her Urbana neighbors.
A typical grocery may stock half a dozen varieties of apples on a regular basis, but there are others -- lots of others -- growing across the east central Illinois countryside, including Wolfe Orchard in Monticello, Illinois. Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts went by to have a look - OK, and a taste.