A woman's hand is shown shearing a sheep.
Tim Meyers
June 04, 2014

Backyard Industry Video 2.0: Wool Gathering

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. 


An almanac on a table surrounded by starter plants
Lisa Bralts
May 08, 2013

Calendar, Clock, Compendium

Why are almanacs still produced today in spite of the web? Why are they so compelling? In this episode of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts uses modern technology to research some answers. She also talks to a young woman working with many others to reclaim and redistribute old farming knowledge by publishing an analog farmers almanac... but with some current-day touches.

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A middle-aged couple sitting together on a couch, smiling.
Lisa Bralts
April 25, 2013

Food Connection, Part Three

What began as a desire for a fresh peach and a penchant for French-style goat cheese has become an award-winning farmstead creamery, among other things. Many other things. Business - and life - partners Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband talk about their work at Prairie Fruits Farm with Lisa Bralts for this episode of In My Backyard.

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A sign at a farmers market
Lisa Bralts
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.

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May 10, 2012

Bug Travels

Weather and insects can influence what we have to eat locally during the growing season. In My Backyard’s Lisa Bralts discovers that while they’re two distinctly different issues that farmers must wrangle, they’re much more closely related than she realized.

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Man onstage speaking to a large crowd.
Lisa Bralts
April 12, 2012

Slow and Steady

Investments don't have to be electronic transactions with faceless people involving companies based far away from home.  In this segment of In My Backyard Lisa learns a few things about Slow Money, risk, and investment in small, local food enterprises from Woody Tasch, the guy who literally wrote the book on it.

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Two young women shear a sheep in a barn.
Lisa Bralts
March 29, 2012

Shear Madness

Just like us, sheep stop wearing their wool when the weather gets warmer. In this segment of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts visits a small farm in Sidney to watch a sheep shearing guru teach the craft to some novice shearers - and some novice sheep.

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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.

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May 25, 2011

Myth Busting on the Farm

Not everyone who farms rides the latest tractor, manages hundreds of acres... or is a guy. In this segment of In My Backyard, Lisa Bralts talks to someone who defies all of those stereotypes.

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