People waiting in line to order food from a food truck.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - November 15, 2012


In the mid-to-late 1800s - the days of cattle-driving and people-moving across the frontier - chuckwagons kept the cowboys and pioneers on these trips fed. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts, explores a similar concept locally, with a new millennial twist.

Three chickens foraging in grass.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - October 25, 2012

Chicken Wranglers, Urban Style

Two and a half years ago, one of the first In My Backyard pieces was about keeping chickens in the city. WILL’s Lisa Bralts follows up with both new and, uh, seasoned chicken owners, and learns what happens when girl chickens crow (they don’t), that raccoons and possums aren’t chickens’ only potential enemies, and that people give their chickens really strange names.

An array of hot peppers on a towel.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - October 11, 2012

Zesty Peppers

In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts gets a taste of what some say is the BEST hot pepper in the world…and it’s locally grown.

Jars of tomatoes on a shelf.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - October 04, 2012

What’s An Aigre-Doux?

We’re lucky indeed here in central Illinois - our local specialty crop farmers grow gorgeous produce that lends itself for preservation so we can enjoy it year-round. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts talks pickles, preserves, and aigre-doux with Vie Restaurant’s Paul Virant - also known as "The Jarring Chef".

A large squash on the ground in a garden.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - September 13, 2012

In the Pumpkin Patch

True autumn is just a couple of weeks away, and the cool nights mean the earth is about to offer up its bounty of cucurbits - pumpkins, squash, and gourds - for our eating and decorating pleasure. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts heads south to Arthur, Illinois, and learns that there’s a lot more to a pumpkin patch than prizewinner pumpkins and jack o’ lanterns.

Page of a catalog open to a description of a book

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - August 22, 2012

In the Market For Something to Do?

New to town? Wondering a) what the heck there is to eat around here, and b) if there’s any place that’s recognizable to you that can make you feel a little more at home? Try one of our local farmers markets. In this segment of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts talks to a farmers market fan who literally wrote the book on Midwestern markets, and ponders how new residents from anywhere can help create our ever-evolving local food culture right here.

A woman showing young children how to harvest flower seeds

Kate Higgs

Backyard Industry - August 09, 2012

In HER Backyard

While the natural world can make a huge impression on people of all ages, there’s something about being a kid that makes even the simplest things in the yard interesting and even magical. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts takes some of the small set on a neighborhood tour, starting… in HER backyard.

A sign at a farmers market

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - July 12, 2012

Pedal Power

Fresh produce usually travels from farm to market in a van or truck. Agriculture and architecture usually seem worlds apart. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts learns about a way urban farmers can get produce to market with a smaller carbon footprint, thanks to a collaboration between the U of I’s Sustainable Student Farm and a group of Architecture graduate students.

A photo of a carton of eggs

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - 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.

A sandwich made of french friends and cheese gravy on a plate at a restaurant.

Lisa Bralts

Backyard Industry - June 14, 2012

Horseshoes and Haystacks

For many of us, “eating local” means buying locally-grown produce and supporting local producers. But what about eating? Locally-developed cuisine - especially the comfort foods from last century that are specific to a region or sometimes just a town - is making a bit of a comeback, but with a bit of a twist. Lisa Bralts investigates one of Central Illinois’ specialties on this episode of In My Backyard.

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