Foraged greens and garden hand tools on a table.
Lisa Bralts
April 26, 2012

Reaping What You Don’t Sow

While we're babying our seeds in the garden or waiting for the farmers markets to open, it's easy to forget there are plenty of fresh things to eat that just kind of show up in the most obvious of places. Some call them weeds, but others call them dinner. In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts discovers she doesn't have to go far to find food. She also learns why time is of the essence.

A man demonstrating cheesemaking
Lisa Bralts
March 08, 2012

DIY Cheese, Please

In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts learns the finer points of making amateur fresh mozzarella cheese at home from lay expert (and cheese nerd) Brian McKay.

Several jars of homemade mustard.
Lisa Bralts
February 16, 2012

Pass the Mustard

One way to get past the blahs of late winter and to get some food inspiration for spring is to arrange a food swap with some friends and neighbors, especially if the focus is on bright flavors and lots of laughing.  In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts dishes out her best mustard recipe... and comes home with much more than that.

A scale and several seed catalogs
Lisa Bralts
February 09, 2012

Ahead of the (Growing) Curve

This winter's mild weather notwithstanding, it's a bit hard to believe the next growing season is already right around the corner. In this week's segment of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts discovers that local growers aren't just thinking about the 2012 growing season - they're way ahead of the rest of us.

printed words on a page
Lisa Bralts
December 21, 2011

Be It Resolved

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.

Orange winter squash at a farmers market
Lisa Bralts
October 27, 2011

Overcoming Lachanophobia

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.

A homemade smoker full of sausages
Lisa Bralts
October 12, 2011

Dishwasher Smoker

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.

A jar of pickled carrots on a kitchen shelf
Lisa Bralts
September 22, 2011

Sour Times

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.

March 24, 2011

Reminiscing about Community Gardens

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.

March 10, 2011

Boiling Sap into Syrup

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.

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