Aaron Yarbrough

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since Jan 31, 2013
Austin, Texas
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Recent posts by Aaron Yarbrough

I just assembled and fired up a ceramic fiber core I ordered from Luke so I thought I've give this thread a bump. Thanks Luke!
2 weeks ago
Thanks Steve! I like that Triumph are table grapes. For some reason I thought muscadines were too sour and just used for jams and wines. I'll see if our plant nursery has them and the Shiro plums.

I'll definitely get some Pineapple Guava. I like Texas mountain laurel for screening and nitrogen fixing but an evergreen shrub that also has edible fruit. Sounds fantastic.

As for rabbit eye blueberries I failed to mention we have fairly alkaline soil in this area so the probably won't work here.

Thanks for taking a look at my plans. I really appreciate it.  
1 month ago
Hey all,

I'm looking for feedback on the preliminary design for the area immediately around my cabin.

Here's a 6 minute video outlining the site's climate details, land form data, existing flora and structures, sector analysis and preliminary planting schedule:

I've attached a site map, the sector analysis, and preliminary planting schedule.

The area has several mature over story trees so I'm particularly interested in shrubs or trees that can pruned into thickets to provide some privacy screen and do well in partial shade. Here's the list I have gathered so far:

- Pineapple Guava (Prefers morning sun, afternoon shade)
- American Hazelnut (Can be grown in a thicket, Tolerates partial shade but will not produce well)
- Texas Kidneywood(Can be pruned into a shrub)
- Red Chokeberry
- Yaupon Holly
- American Smoketree
- Texas Mountain Laurel
- Flameleaf Sumac
- Evergreen Sumac
- Paw Paw
- Red Mulberry (I've heard that these can be kept smaller with pruning and do well as understory trees)
- Methely Plum
- Mexican Plum

Most of this information comes from Texas Gardening the Natural Way by Howard Garrett and notes from a local food forest workshop I attended several years ago.

Also, any central Texas grape suggestions would be appreciated. I was considering  some type of Muscadine for their disease resistance and drought tolerance.



1 month ago
Hey Robert,

I would pour concrete piers topped with a post base bracket. Even if you messed around with treating your posts there would still be an issue with the posts rotting if you sunk them in concrete.

Finding a post base for an 8" round post might be difficult and expensive. You might consider framing a conventional sub floor on pier and beam and building your cabin on top of that. I built a timber frame using a similar method.

Here's a post  from my building blog about it.

Have you checked out Hill Counry Natives in Leander? They sell non-natives as well. If they don't have Goumi they may be able to point you in the right direction

3 months ago
Hey all,

I installed a Marey 3.0 GPM tankless propane water heater. I have a 3.0 GPM water pump that pressurizes my system to ~40 PSI. The minimum activation flow rate for the Marey water heater is so high that I have to have the hot water fully open to activate the heater so that if I ease off the hot water in the shower even just a little the water heater shuts off. Any suggestions for a work around or a water heater better suited for low flow situations?
3 months ago
Hi Mary,

Sounds like you're talking about doing light clay straw(also known as straw light clay or slip straw). It's breathable and has R value of approximately 1.5/in. Sounds like your soil will work for the light clay straw binder and probably for the plaster. I might add borax into your light clay straw mix to prevent insects from trying to nest in the walls. Here's a video  intro about light clay straw:

3 months ago

denise ra wrote:Aaron Yarbrough, Would you have any qualms about having a bathtub for soaking in the same room with the toilet? Or would you ideally separate them?

No qualms on any sanitary grounds. I like the concept of separate bathing and toilet areas but didn't feel it was worth sacrificing the floor space. Instead of trying to squeeze a tub into a small bathroom I would opt for a separate bath house.
3 months ago
I've attached a couple of images of our bathroom. The space excluding the shower is 4 feet wide by 5 feet deep. The toilet compartment is 28 inches wide x 22 inches deep which feels like just enough room. Sawdust is stored in an office trash can under the vanity. Extra buckets and sawdust are stored outside.

4 months ago

Michael Shwartz wrote:Hello!  First day here.  I'm from just south of the DFW area.  New to all of this.  I've been interested in homesteading / hobby farming for a little bit and stumbled onto the permies site.  Anything happening in this area?  The other posts are so old, I think I might have hit a dead site.

Hey Michael, welcome to Permies! The Oklahoma and Texas forum has been quiet for a while but the rest of the Permies site is really active. I've always received at least a few responses to my questions. My wife and I live just south of Austin and are currently wrapping up building a timber frame straw light clay cabin. We start looking toward food production in the fall.


4 months ago