Today we're digging in with 27-year-old Lindsay Humes of The Garden Apt., a blog focused on living a sustainable life that happens to be based here in Chicago. On the site, you can find everything from discussions about how to reduce the amount of waste you produce to plant-based recipes to DIY home decor ideas. Lindsay demonstrates a commitment to living a better life through blog posts that present solutions rather than complaints about the issues of consumption and waste that afflict our society. For those seeking ways to lead an earth-friendlier life, The Garden Apt. will be an invaluable resource.
Read on to get to know Lindsay!
What is your all-time favorite book?
People look at experiences as defining moments in their lives, but I view reading books in that manner. I read Little Women twice as a child — the creativity, the inspiration, the independence of the March sisters...sigh. In high school, East of Eden opened me up to my true love with literature. The complexity of characters with allusions and larger philosophical themes struck a chord for me. Joan Didion’s White Album has always inspired me. Lastly, in the winter of 2010, I read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which was so beautiful and articulate. I cried when I finished reading it, and I’ve been meaning to re-read it.
What meal do you love to cook?
I love cooking soups, especially now in the fall/winter. I explore more with different flavors and seasonings than anything else. I can be a little risky with a soup, and its going to be okay. I can’t really be adventurous when I bake. Plus, soups always leave me feeling very satisfied, especially compared to other plant-based meals. Currently, my favorite is a lemon rice soup; I made a huge pot of it, and it hardly lasted 24 hours.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
I cant really think of my favorite food scene from a book, but when I studied at Smith, I participated in one of my favorite food-literature moments. My co-op visited Amherst’s co-op for a dinner of CSA vegetables and co-ed mingling. Amherst’s had a tradition of reading a small excerpt from a classic novel out loud. When I visited, it was an excerpt from The Great Gatsby, and I still very vividly remember that experience.
Coffee or tea?
Both. I had a love-hate relationship with coffee. I thought I consumed more than was good for me. Always tried to scale it back, but I just love freshly roasted beans, French-pressed with French-vanilla coconut milk creamer. Then I decided my love for coffee was too great, and I decided to embrace it. I always have tea in the evenings. I must love my tannins!
What is the last book you abandoned?
Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. After the second season of Game of Thrones, I decided to read the books. I read the first two books in a matter of a week, but I could never start and finish the third. I’ve tried twice, but I still think I’m on George R.R. Martin overload.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
Joan Didion without a doubt. I’ve read all of her major pieces, and most of her small, more obscure pieces; I’m always excited to read her anything she's written. I would love to be a young, live-in help/apprentice for Joan — take her to appointments, do her laundry, listen to her. Of course, I would make this business proposal to her over wine in Napa or New York.
Where do you go to find new recipes? New reads?
I’m a cookbook person – The Kitchen Garden Cookbook, Pure Vegan, The Kind Diet, and Ani Phyo’s Raw Food are my staples. Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some awesome Chicago food bloggers, and I love their recipes: Kit at The Kittchen, Regan at Up Close & Tasty, Kat at A Girl & Her Food and Ann at A Squared Blog.
For new reads, I rely on New York Times Book Review, my friends' Goodreads accounts, and of course PAPER/PLATES! I've got a stack of books that I need to read, so I'm really trying to get through those before I get anything new!
Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, your mission and what your favorite aspects are.
The Garden Apt is a sustainable lifestyle blog, where I try to document my experiences and decisions to live a more environmentally friendly life. I grew up in the Midwest, which doesn’t necessarily have the same carbon consciousness as other places, but I do believe my parents and grandparents taught me about some things that shouldn’t be sacrificed in this new technological age. Also, I’m a firm believer that my role as a consumer is more effective than I am as a voter. If I want to see real political, cultural, and economic change, my habits as a consumer need to reflect what I believe in. My favorite thing about the blog, and this is purely selfish, is how I’ve become a more mindful, conscious, resourceful person from documenting my experiences to the entire world.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
That’s a tough one! I’m an avid reader of blogs, but I think my favorites are the ones that I learn from.
Laurie Leopold’s 312beauty has been my favorite beauty guide. Before I read her blog, I would hardly wear makeup, but the way she writes about skincare and makeup make you instantly addicted.
Jen Beeman’s Grainline Studio is my guide to sewing. She makes her own patterns, and she gives awesome tutorials on how to execute perfect items.