‘I never made anything the same twice, and I never have a plan,’ says Yalte
By CBC News, CBC News Posted: Jun 24, 2015 7:20 PM PT Last Updated: Jun 24, 2015 7:20 PM PT
“I call them stackwall, because you stack and mortar in whatever you’ve got that’s lasting building material,” she told CBC Radio West’s Rebecca Zanbergen.
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“There’s unlimited amount of creativity you could do with the building materials that wash up on the beaches around here. I have to be more responsible so that the structure is sound, but I love to put any extras that people come up with and stick them in there,” said Yalte.
1st home was her own
“Necessity breeds invention,” says Yalte, who admits the 1,500-square-foot project involved a massive amount of work, including 400 mixes in the wheelbarrow by hand.
“I was living in poverty with three children and a half a welfare cheque. I was limited in what I could do. I needed a home badly. I had nothing to build it [with] except what was all around.
“I had a power saw and a pickup truck. I could do this. After 42 trips of wood and 200 trips of sand and sawdust that I gathered everywhere, I built our home.
‘I never have a plan’
Since then, Yalte has built at least 30 other structures, including outhouses, gazebos, houses and walls. “I never made anything the same twice, and I never have a plan,” she says.
Yalte currently lives alone in a home she built on Graham Island. It’s surrounded by tiny cabins and a wall to protect the homestead from the strong winds. She built all of it herself.
Not slowing down at 70
“I’m compulsive about the stackwall,” said Yalte.
“I have a dream about making a village, and I know it’s going to happen, because I’ve already had a vision of it happening, where a whole bunch of people live here with children running free and animals running free. I’m creating that dream,” she said.