About Christine & TDN


About Christine

I am a writer, artist, community educator, homeschool advocate, auto-didact, polymath and general malcontent. You can find more of my writing at the following websites:

I am constantly juggling multiple priorities – homeschool, writing, art, home renovation, entrepreneurship and more. Consequently, I am NEVER bored.

To date, I have written six books and published five. You can find them here. Book Six, Schicksal Turnpike, is currently in edits.

When I’m not writing, I’m a negligent, laissez-faire gardener.


About The Deadly Nightshade

Now that I have the TDN website displayed on my van, I get a lot of questions about what The Deadly Nightshade is. Recently I have been asked…

Is it for people who have passed? – this was right after I explained that TDN covers gardening, cooking, crafts, DIY, self-sustainability and more. I know, I know, the word deadly throws a lot of people, but no, it isn’t about people who have passed on.

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Oh, are you a florist? – Nope, I’m not a florist. And personally I only like flowers I can eat.

Do you have a garden full of poisonous plants like Amy Stewart, that author of Wicked Plants– No, although the deadly nightshade does occasionally pop up in the middle of my garden (and I promptly yank it out).


The name of my website/blog began when my husband (then boyfriend) moved here from California in 2003. I asked him what he wanted to grow in our garden and he grew very excited and said, “Tomatoes! Lots of tomatoes!”


So that first year we grew around 24 tomato plants. The day came when the first tomatoes were ready. I brought some inside, sliced them up, sprinkled them with lemon pepper and brought them to my husband…”Here you go!”

He looked at the plate and shook his head, “Oh no, I don’t eat raw tomatoes.”


To which my response was, “Ummm…what?!”

After that, it became a joke. Since tomatoes are a member of the Solanacae, or nightshade family (as are potatoes and eggplant), and at one time were considered poisonous, I teased him, “Are you afraid of the deadly nightshade?”


And when I began this blog, back in early 2010, I knew I had to name it The Deadly Nightshade. So there you go, the story behind the name. Read on for more info on TDN…



Self-sufficiency, green living, do-it-yourself, frugality and more. In this blog, you will find baking, crafts, art and DIY adventures in the winter months, and plenty of planting, weeding, harvesting and seasonal recipes in the warm months. I delve into organic gardening, companion planting, composting, and permaculture methods regularly, and incorporate gardening with kids, LAZY gardening, and much more.



To educate, inspire, and entertain as many people as possible through my online blogs and local community education classes.



We recently moved from a suburban 1/3 acre in Belton, just 20 minutes south of Kansas City, into the heart of Historic Northeast Kansas City. Our 2013 garden consisted of approximately 850 square feet of in-ground plantings. We expanded that to around 1,000 square feet, purchased a small bungalow at the end of our lots from Kansas City Land Bank for $25, and we have planted nine fruit trees (plum, apple, Asian pear, and cherry) to date.


Our plans are to turn our five city lots into an urban farm over the next few years.


2015 marked the first year that we participated in the Urban Farm Tour. We plan on participating every other year, so be sure to come see us in 2017! You can learn more about the tour at Cultivate KC.

After 35 minutes, this was done and ready for eating. YUM!

After 35 minutes, this was done and ready for eating. YUM!

Our focus is on sustainable, organic gardening that is easy to reproduce and which give us as much edible “good food” experiences that we can eat and share with others.


Christine’s Rules

When considering new projects, recipes and more, I usually follow three rules…

#1 – It has to be relatively simple and straightforward

#2 – It has to be healthy or better for the environment

#3 – The cheaper I can do it the better


Most of the projects/recipes/crafts you see in this blog can be accomplished with just a little knowledge. No feats of overwhelming strength or in-depth knowledge of physics or high mathematics are needed.



4 Responses to About Christine & TDN

  1. Andy (FitScribbler) says:

    Hi Christine,

    It is Andy, (FitScribbler), from Bubblews.

    I hope you don’t mind me adding this comment.

    I wanted to ask you a question.
    I am creating a product about Bubblews and was wondering if you would be interested in being interviewed?

    I would send you a questionnaire to fill in.
    The questions would be about your experiences with Bubblews, etc.

    To say thank you, I could add a link to your website within my product, etc.

    I am contacting a couple other top Bubblews writers as well so I can add them also.

    Let me know if you are interested or if you have any questions.


  2. I was “Googling” pictures of our farm/soap business to post on my Pearly Gates Facebook site, and ran across your site. Thanks for advertizing our business. We’ll be on the Farm and Gardens Tour again this year June 22, 23. Hope you can come…we’ve since…. painted the old garage, and house… broke open a few more garden beds and will be planting edibles all over the property (hopefully I can keep the deer out) 🙂 Sincerely Nancy Gordon

    • Christine says:

      Hi Nancy-

      Thanks for commenting and we will for sure try to make it by! I’ve just recently moved into KC and I hope that in two more years that I too will be on the urban tour! How does one get included in that list, anyway?


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