Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life transitioning from farm life to flip flops


A few years ago, our friend Donna, passed away after a battle with cancer.



That’s Boo under the crooked little tree.



Here is a story about a little crooked tree.

Donna and her husband had spent a lot of time here working on our home during our first renovation many years ago.  They removed the old aluminum siding that covered the house, then they patched, and sanded the original wood siding and then they gave it a coat of fresh paint.  They installed new windows in the addition that was put on the house back in the 1960’s and trimmed them out to match the original ones.  We put a kitchen addition on at that time, and yes, they helped with all that too.


When Donna passed away, we wanted to honor her memory and celebrate all her contributions to our sweet little home.  One day when we were in the garden center, I spotted some fruit trees and suggested we plant one of those in her memory.  We picked out a nectarine, brought it home planted it and waited.  We waited for it to grow and produce fruit.

Each year, that tree looked sadder and sadder.  It just didn’t grow much and it didn’t look healthy.  It grew with a crook and leaned awkwardly – we didn’t have the heart to give up on it.  We had hopes for fruit each spring, but either the frost got blooms before they had a chance to develop or if they did develop, the deer got them right away.

Last spring, the frost didn’t kill the blooms and we were quite excited to see 3 little round fruits start to grow.  Two fell off, the third hung in there.  Each morning I would go out to inspect it and make sure the deer hadn’t gotten it the night before.  Finally, the day arrived when I thought it was ready for picking.  Mr. Cottage told me to go ahead and enjoy it.

  It was, I guess because of all the anticipation the best nectarine ever.


It wasn’t a nectarine at all.

It was a peach.

I guess the tree got mislabeled.  I thought it was a funny looking nectarine, but hey that poor tree looks so weird anyway I just thought the fruit was following suit.

Donna’s tree has just started to bloom and of course, I’m holding my breath that frost doesn’t kill the blooms and that maybe this year will be the year for this tree to really show its stuff.



In other not so worldly news.

Yes, there was a post that disappeared.  That’s all I’m saying.


This house has been sick since the first of the year.  I am not exaggerating.  The two of us have been trading different levels of gross and annoying sicknesses.   Just when one of us starts to feel better WHAM, blindsided with another round of something that we then pass to the other.


 I just want to sit on a sunny beach with my feet in the sand, with umbrella drink(s).


Speaking of drinks, seriously I’m obsessed with anything Ginger – but this Ginger Kombucha – this stuff.  That price though.  I’ve never made Kombucha, but now I have to.  So please, I’m asking everyone and anyone if you have a Kombucha recipe you’d be willing to share I’d appreciate it, especially if it is for ginger.  Thank you in advance.















Spring with all its hope for new beginnings and new life is certainly upon us in a slow awakening, way.  Kinda like That Cat sleeping in the recliner, not wanting to get up and give you back your seat.

A predator of some sort, my guess is a fox, came yesterday and attacked one of the girls.  There is a shredded mess of feathers starting at the perennial garden, up through the pathway leading to the house, and then down the pathway leading to one of the coops.  It is a heartbreaking sight to see.  I found Lottie Moon in the coop covered in blood but it seems she will be ok. Fingers crossed. We will have to be more alert and vigilant.  There is always the cycle of life and death here on the farm.

  We are celebrating life with sweet little chicks. Remember a few months ago I introduced y’all to our new rooster, Wyatt.  Several of the girls had gone broody.  For three weeks we waited patiently wondering if Wyatt would pass along his deformed legs to the chicks, or even if the eggs were fertile because quite frankly Wyatt is so awkward, it doesn’t appear that he is actually getting the deed done.  Apparently, he is getting the job done and his leg deformity has not been passed down.  Star hatched 6, happy and healthy chicks this week, and her sister Luna – 2 so far with 4 more eggs to go.  Meanwhile, Little Friend is sitting on 13 eggs, she should start hatching next weekend.  A few days after that Tweety Bird will be hatching 6 and then after that Cinnamon has 6 as well.  We will be rich in chicks.

As I have done for years, my kitchen table has been transformed into my potting table.  I have a couple of varieties of peppers and tomatoes started.  A couple of pots of cilantro, which garnished the best chicken wrap the other night.  Two pots of amaryllis and two flats of basil seeds I just put in the other day. Kalanchoe that I couldn’t resist came home yesterday, it has double petals, stole my heart.  Oh and one little bunny planter I’ve had since childhood, with delightful little muscari.  This table brings me so much joy.

Authenticity and transparency.  I’ve been hearing those words a lot lately.

A word about IG, I wanted an account for so long, but then I started hearing all this negative stuff about the fakeness of it all.  People getting so wrapped up in posting the best, prettiest, pictures.  I decided I wasn’t going to go there, after all, it felt too much like what I don’t like about Facebook and the reason I don’t use FB on a personal level.  Then for whatever reason, I revisited the idea, I have no idea what I thought I would get out of it.   So now that I have an account, I can see the fascination of it all. I enjoy meeting people from around the world, as I do with blogging.  I have an extremely short attention span, combined with poor eyesight which makes reading very difficult, so those short posts are perfect for me.

I also see all the picture-perfect images.  Then the feelings of inadequacies started forming in my mind. Really, I don’t take such good photos with my phone and it has left me feeling well let’s say –  less. I had to squashed those feelings.  Really all those perfectly staged photoshopped images – I don’t know how people have time to live like that. I do enjoy seeing them to a point. I do find inspiration that makes me want to take better images.

  Anyway, it is the same thing I have felt for years about blogging, there are so many beautiful blogs out there with amazing photos.  I used to want my blog to be like that and I wished that I would have a million followers telling me how great my photography is.  I finally came to the conclusion that just isn’t who I am.  I don’t have the time or the desire to stage my home and my photos. I’m not saying I don’t try to keep the dirty laundry out of the pictures or make the pictures more appealing. Because I do. However, I’m just too lazy to do more than that.  I’m approaching IG the same way.  I love taking pictures and I want to learn how to take better shots, but not at the cost of fakeness.

  I joined an online photography group many years ago, and I was told by a member that my images would never be taken seriously unless I photoshopped them.  Really?  Being the stubborn person I am, I said you just watch me.  It’s all so silly, I have to remind myself to let it go and just be happy doing what I enjoy.

There’s my transparent authenticity for today for what it is worth.


That’s all for today.

xo, Kim

35 thoughts on “Donna’s Nectarine Isn’t * pass the Kombucha

  1. suz says:

    i love your photos … because they’re real, not for how artificially perfect they might be. today’s batch just kept getting better as i went through the email … for example, those little chicklets all lined up like kindergartners, and then they go everywhere so fast. the kitchen table is my favorite photo today. –suz in farmy ohio

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suz I appreciate that you shared your thoughts, especially your favorite photo. It is interesting what speaks to each person. So now I go back over that photo and study it over and over and feel what you must feel. Little chicks are hard to beat, they steal the show and your heart. Momma Star is fiercely protective so trying to get cute chick photos is like going into the lions den. Thanks for popping in. XO Kim


  2. Nancy D says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Try bird netting over the peach tree to thwart predators. Fruit is a LOT of work, but most things that make a difference are. ❤️ Stay on IG. I love your pix and I bet lots of other people do, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nancy I had thought about bird netting especially since that tree is small enough it could easily be done. You are so very right, if it was easy it wouldn’t be felt with the heart so much. Thank you for the encouragement. I’m enjoying IG for now, as long as that’s the case, I’ll post. Xo kim


  3. Pam says:

    I love your pictures! I like the fact they don’t look staged but represent real life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Pam, thanks for enjoying the real us, and thank you for saying so. 🙏 xo kim


  4. Ginny says:

    Hi Kim,
    This blog is so beautiful and brings back all the sounds and smells of spring in Connecticut….we do miss that in Florida. Such a thrill to see a bluebird again, and the beauty of flowers and buds opening. Just what I needed today. The baby chicks are precious; and let us know if you get more peaches! I have tried burying peach pits but never saw a glimmer of hope come forth. Your spirit is uplifting and I look forward to the next. All best wishes, Ginny

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ginny – your words remind to pause and enjoy this moment of spring and not take it for granted. Sometimes I wish for the weather to hurry and warm up that I forget to enjoy this right here right now. Those bluebirds are so incredible, we have been blessed for years, with many families that call this their home, and I never get tired of seeing them. I saw one the other morning as I was walking out to the farm stand and I thought to myself that is the bluest blue, I have ever seen, it was pure magic. I am hoping for peaches and will update the progress… I think I’m going to have way more chicks than peaches though – LOL. Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, I really appreciate that, more than you can know. xo kim


  5. Joni says:

    I wondered what kind of a bird that was, but I see from above it is a bluebird? I’ve never seen one before. Loved the baby chicks too. I’ve never ventured into Instagram as the person who was helping me set it up said I needed a data plan on my cellphone which I don’t have. Can you post on it from a computer or just a cellphone? I did open a PIN interest account, then never used it – too many pretty pictures to look at, all much better than mine, plus some spam, which scared me off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joni – they are bluebirds – I have houses for them all over our property thanks to my dad’s birdhouse making skills. They usually have several broods each year, and they all stick around and help raise that next brood, it is a wonderful thing to be able to witness. My cell phone wasn’t able to handle IG until I got a new phone last year, however, my phone rarely works out here in the country and I rarely leave the farm, so it is a hit or miss thing for me. Yes, IG is a phone only platform. I read that there was a way around that if you change some coding, which I attempted to do, but I wasn’t successful. My photos just don’t look crisp to me on there. I’ve seen a lot of great photos taken with phones, but I think I have the shakes too much. I know many people use their DSL cameras as I have then photoshopped them on their computer, then transfer to their phone and upload. I tried doing that, and the photos looked blurry – I obviously don’t know the secret. I have not experienced anything negative yet with IG, had a few people that follow, that I have no intentions following back, they are just surfing for suckers – which I have a lot of that on this blog too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joni says:

        Thanks Kim…..I just have a basic phone with a phone card, just for emergencies. It’s for the best I think, as I spend way to much time on here, hard to keep up with all those sites. I don’t know how young people do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Joni says:

        PS. That must be a wonderful sight – the air full of bluebirds! I don’t think they are here in Canada.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Rebecca says:

    Lovely. You have a beautiful gift. Do not doubt and please continue to share! Sending you love!!😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rebecca – thanks for the love I’m sending it right back atcha! xo kim


  7. lindasschaub says:

    I am enjoying Spring vicariously through these pictures Kim – never, never photoshop your pictures … I would aspire to produce photos, the likes of what I find in your blog. I one time followed a local photographer, who won many awards. She was a butterfly enthusiast and she photoshopped to the point that the pictures didn’t look real … to me there is no creativity there … just my opinion and I think pics on the fly, or pics that identify life or the story you are telling, are much more identifiable. I’m sorry for your friend’s loss to cancer – there have been far too many gone too soon to this horrid disease and I ask scientists to find a cure for it and forget worrying about the moon or other planets to sustain life … sustain life here on Earth by finding a cure. ‘Nuff said on that – I won’t preach. Sorry to hear about the illnesses too … hopefully warmer weather will help to cure all the ails. We have a measles epidemic in our state … thankfully I had them as a kid. My mom told me for years that I had measles and chicken pox, on her birthday and Mother’s Day the same year … thanks a lot kid! I’m off to check out Parker et al. Take care of yourself and your family, especially the feathered babies. I do get the cycle of life too, but it hurts so close to home.


    1. Linda – glad you get to feel my spring photos – I like taking photos when people don’t know they are having their picture taken – for that very reason it feels more authentic on the fly whatever you want to call it. Hey I hear you about your soapbox rant, I hadn’t really thought about it, but then I saw something on the news recently about more space exploration, and I kinda wondered what is the point. But maybe the cure for cancer is on mars? I understand that scientist are finding cures, or finding directions to go for medical advancement through deep sea research – which I find fascinating. My mom didn’t share too many of my medical records with me, and I’m somewhat at a loss for knowing what I had and didn’t have. I got shingles really bad about 10 years ago, so I know I had chicken pox at some point… Hello to Parker and friends. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lindasschaub says:

        Yes your photos are so realistic Kim and spontaneous … I’ve passed your blog site on to many fellow bloggers, whether they like beauty, nature, chickens or a more rural way of life. There is something for everyone at your blog Kim. I guess there is a point to that and maybe exploring beneath the sea or above the Earth may prove to be fruitful, but meanwhile I am saddened by all the people who must fight this terrible disease and Alzheimers as well. My neighbor’s shingles made me ask for a prescription for the shot since, at the time, I was under 60 – now they have the improved vaccine in two doses. My neighbor had it in her eye/scalp and had vision problems afterward. Parker and pals do make me smile – we all need to smile more.


  8. Debra says:

    Your photography is far above any photoshopped image I have seen. I love your attitude-and love seeing you just be yourself. I think birds help us do that, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, my bird-loving friend – there is no lie in bird, just saying. Thank you as always for your encouragement and care. xo kim


  9. Mrs. N in Japan says:

    Hi- as you can see I haven’t been blogging…. stopped by just to check your post.

    I love your photos as do many others. I’m with you – I don’t photoshop any of my pictures. Firstly, I can’t afford photoshop! 🤣
    And second- I’m stubborn too. Ok, ok- I might crop some crap out of a photo but that’s about it. Even on IG- I don’t use any magic. My photos are what they are!

    Congratulations on all the chicks! Wow! That’s really awesome!


    1. Donna says:

      Hi Kim, I love your photos. Don’t you dare do anything different. They are so refreshing! I love to see your farm life. Keep at it girl.


      1. Donna – thank you so much – really I appreciate your words. Gonna keep doing what I do, right or wrong. xo kim


    2. Hi Connie – I’m glad I get to see all your wonderful photos on IG – I think it seems to be a really good platform for you, and I get the reward of learning more and more about Japan. Here’s to real women and real photography! xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ruthsoaper says:

    Hi Kim. I love your little peach tree and that you planted it to honor your friend. When we first bought our farm we planted 5 peach trees but lost them all about 3 years after a bad winter. 😦 Apples are really the only fruit trees we have had any luck with. I understand that they take about 4 years to start producing well. So hopefully you will have a better crop this year.
    Your pictures are awesome – I love that they are real – not staged or photo shopped.
    Wow! So many broody hens and baby chicks – it is so much fun to watch a mother hen raising her chicks – keeping them warm under her wing or teaching them what to eat. 🙂 Will you keep them all?
    I just started drinking kombucha in January and (because it is expensive) making it in February. I still have lots to learn but to start out I used a bottle of store bought plain kombucha (the GTS brand)
    I just used lipton organic black tea bags (six) in about 1 1/2 quarts of water to make the tea then sweetened with 1/2 cup of sugar. When it was cool I added 1/2 the bottle of kombuca. it grew the SCOBY and I think it took about 2 1/2 weeks before it was ready (I only go by flavor). When it tasted done I did a second ferment by pouring it into my empty GTS bottles. I use about 12 oz of kombucha and about 2-3 oz of grape juice then add a few frozen blueberries to it and let it ferment for a few more days again just going by taste to determine when it is ready. We have really been enjoying this. I am not very experienced and my directions are not really precise so you might want to keep looking for a GOOD recipe but I understand that you can add a small slice of ginger or two to the second ferment to give it that ginger flavor.


  11. tonytomeo says:

    Have you tried pruning the peach tree to invigorate it? The main problem I encounter with peaches are due to a lack of pruning. Mine has been going strong since 1985, and never gets sprayed for peach leaf curl, which it gets annually. It used to get pruned regularly, so grew more vigorously than the disease could. It has never been sprayed, and continued to produce excellent fruit. Peaches, nectarines, and just about all stone fruit have been bred to overproduce an abundance of big fruit. Although they can do so, they are also genetically ‘weak’ compared to wild trees. Pruning helps them to concentrate resources.


  12. Annie says:

    Your photos are artistic. I love the angles, the colors, the life you show. IG is perfect for your art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Annie, that is kind of you to say.


  13. KT Workman says:

    What a lovely story…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. says:

    Girrrrrl, after all these years, you don’t know the difference between a peach and a nectarine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheesh, now you’ve gone and shamed me in public! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. says:

        I’m purty sure I’m older’n you but you’s old enough to know peaches are fuzzy and nectarines are smooth. Thus, the public flogging. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Kris P says:

    I’m glad your peach tree survived its rough teen-age years and I hope it continues to do better and better – the crooked trunk adds character. I also hope you’re able to put the spate of illnesses behind you as Spring finally gains hold of your garden. As for IG, I’m not entirely on board with it myself but I’m hanging in there for the time being.


  16. Jeannie says:

    Your pictures are great! I prefer those that aren’t photoshopped fake but those that make me feel like I am there in person viewing the scene. Your pictures are that way, true to life. I haven’t ever considered using photoshop. For a while, I got caught up in staging the perfect picture but then realized it isn’t me; neither are they true. The purpose of my blog and my pictures are to help me remember my memories.

    Sorry about your friend Donna – I like her tree. It has struggled just like she struggled.



  17. Harold Olinger says:

    Don’t photoshop. Your pictures are you and they’re excellent!

    Sent from my iPhone



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