Backyard Industry

Food and neighborhood DIY (do-it-yourself) projects go hand in hand for Lisa Bralts, who lives in an east Urbana neighborhood with her family and is surrounded by great food, great neighbors, and several gardens, including her own. She's amazed at the possibilities and practices that exist just underneath the surface in Central Illinois - you just have to poke around a little, which she does with great pleasure. 

While BYI has ceased production for radio as of 12/18/2014, all 93 episodes will remain right here, on the WILL website, for your perusal whenever you like. This page will also be updated whenever a new video is released - there are three more in the series, so keep your eyes peeled. 

Lisa will continue to write and post photos for BYI via the website - bookmark that thing! She'll also have more time to engage y'all on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Tumblr


WILL - Backyard Industry - December 04, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Small World

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(Duration: 4:34)

A room full of aging cheese.

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. 

Categories: Agriculture, Community, Food


WILL - Backyard Industry - October 09, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

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.


WILL - Backyard Industry - September 18, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Right Up My Alley

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(Duration: 4:40)

Red berries growing in an 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.

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WILL - Backyard Industry - August 05, 2014

Join Us For A Free Film Screening Friday Night, August 15!

Flyer for a film

Backyard Industry and Illinois Public Media, along with several other Urbana organizations and businesses, are helping to get the film Spinning Plates on a local screen - and it's happening outside this weekend! The film follows three very different restaurants and investigates what keeps them going; the tagline is "It's not what you cook. It's why", which fits right in with BYI's mission.

Things will get started around dusk in the Busey Bank parking lot at Main and Race in Downtown Urbana. Bring your family and friends, and bring your own chairs, blankets, and snacks (you can also do carryout from one of the nearby restaurants) as well.

Some of the BYI team will be in attendance - see you there! 

Categories: Art and Culture, Community

WILL - Backyard Industry - July 30, 2014

Fungus Among Us

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(Duration: 4:57)

Basil plants with yellowing leaves

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.


WILL - Backyard Industry - July 17, 2014

Eat Them to Beat Them

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(Duration: 4:54)

A branch of unripe autumn olives

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.


WILL - Backyard Industry - July 02, 2014

Tour de Coop

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(Duration: 4:03)

Chickens in a chicken coop.

As of January 2014, backyard chickens are legal in Champaign, Illinois. What better way to introduce curious friends and neighbors to the concept than to have an open house... for your chicken coop? It seems other wheels are turning, too... Backyard Industry's Lisa Bralts investigates.


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