New Releases From HOPS Press, LLC!
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Shanleya's Quest 2
Botany Adventure at the Fallen Tree
By Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day
Illustrated by Bonnie Andrich
The Adventure Continues...
After hearing tales of adventure at the Great Tree in Shanleya's Quest, Adelia, Katyln, and Peter now embark on a magical journey back in time to meet the legendary botanist. Together they explore the world that bloomed after the fall of the Great Tree. They examine old flower fossils, discover new plant families and their guardians, and experience the wonderful world of plants.
Readers learn the essential patterns for identifying 30,000 plants to the correct families, plus the story includes an overview of the edible and medicinal properties of those plant families.
Shanleya's Quest 2 teaches readers to recognize ancestral flower traits and witness evolution in action as flower parts merge together in increasingly specialized flower forms. The book introduces college-level content in a tale of botanical adventure suitable for kids ages 9 to 99. Read More...
Five Months on the Missouri River
Paddling a Dugout Canoe
Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri
by Thomas J. Elpel, Illustrated by Joanna Walitalo
Have you ever dreamed of adventure?
Thomas J. Elpel had the rare opportunity to carve a dugout canoe with Churchill Clark, the great-great-great-great grandson of Captain Clark. Together they whittled a 10,000 lb. Douglas fir log down to a 500+ lb. canoe.
Enlisting friends with additional canoes to join the adventure, Tom led a five-month "Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery" expedition, paddling the 2,341-mile Missouri River segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail fromMontana to St. Louis. It was an archetypical story of adventure -- to carve and paddle a dugout canoe like the famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
Instead of merely racing to the finish line, Tom and friends paddled the Missouri River as a conduit for exploring the land and meeting its inhabitants. Every campsite offered a new opportunity to hike and explore the geographical landscape and geology, identify plants, and forage for wild foods. They enjoyed a leisurely pace paddling through the heart of America while diving into Lewis and Clark history and the history of Native American tribes along the route. They were assisted by many River Angels along the way, meeting some of the nicest people on the planet. Read More...
Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams
A Manual for Changing the World
By Thomas J. Elpel
Little actual work is required to provide for most human needs such as shelter, clothing, warmth, food, and water, and even new necessities, such as mobile phones and transportation.
Technological advances allow progressively fewer workers to produce essential goods and services necessary for society to function. To distribute goods and services and maintain social cohesion, all other people must be employed in increasingly superfluous work to consume surplus abundance.
Surplus time and idle hands represent a fundamental threat to society. The mechanism of control, subconsciously implemented throughout history, is to occupy people with meaningless work.
As the total workforce required to sustain society approaches zero, progressively more people are employed to consume and dispose of wealth rather than produce it. Resource scarcity, environmental degradation, and poverty are artificially created as side effects of the effort to keep people busy pretending to work.
Due to population growth and technological development, unnecessary work now consumes our resource base at an unsustainable rate and threatens all life on earth. Read More...
A Novel by Jan Elpel
Heirloom China is a murder mystery that pits Patrick Colter's obsession against unknown forces in the silver mining town of Butte, Montana Territory, 1877 - 1879. Patrick risks all for a chance to solve a cold case in revenge of his role model and mentor, a man who inspired him to attend Harvard and bring law and justice to the Territory. His wife, Shelley, becomes a rising star in the movement for women's equality and the vote, which threatens Patrick's sense of a man's place and position.
Heirloom China is the third novel in the trilogy and traces the early women's suffrage movement from East to West, 1877 - 1879, a sliver of time prior to the rise of copper kings of Butte. Paperback. 284 pages. ISBN: 978-1-892784-45-2. $16.00
From the back cover:
Patrick Colter's obsession for revenge in honor of his mentor pits him against unknown forces in the silver mining town of Butte, Montana Territory, 1877-1878. Patrick risks all for a last chance to solve a cold case of murder. He objects to his wife, Shelley, joining a liberal doctor and a street woman to promote women's equality and the vote. They help Patrick solve the murder case, though they have no intention of being kept "in a woman's place." Read More...
Healers of Big Butte
A Novel by Jan Elpel
Healers of Big Butte is a light-hearted story of relationships and inner struggles during a little-known period of silver mining in Big Butte, Montana Territory, 1875-1877. But historic events intrude on the once pristine mile-high bowl on the Continental Divide, where miners and cattlemen come into conflict, and tensions lead up to the Nez Perce War. Paperback. 284 pages. July 2017. ISBN: 978-1-892784-39-1. $16.00
From the back cover:
Carrie Tarynton is both loved and feared in Big Butte, Montana Territory, 1875. She saves the life of a prized horse and confronts age-old superstitions and practices, as well as two "modern" physicians from the East. She enlists her intuitive women friends and a Shoshoni Medicine Woman to help heal her husband, Mac Tarynton, and her marriage. Mac seeks Kent Berrigan to help defend his ranch against mining companies that spoil pristine streams, while rising conflicts lead up to the Nez Perce War. Read More...
A Novel by Jan Elpel
Berrigan's Ride is a novel of love, abandonment and acceptance set primarily in Hot Spring District, Madison County, in southwestern Montana (Norris), 1866 - 1868, and a drama of symbolic healing between North and South after the Civil War. Paperback. 284 pages. September 2016. ISBN: 978-1-892784-37-7. $16.00
From the back cover:
Kent Berrigan never expected to fall in love with raw, remote Montana Territory. He recognizes himself in the night flight of wild horses running past his shack in the gold fields of Madison County, 1866. "His pulse stimulated to breaking in this land of intemperance, temper, and indifference with an edge on its own terms. He yearned to run with the herd-as with the horses, another life formed a past he ran from, or a future he was running toward..."
Kent settles on Norwegian Creek with other Rebels, a dog and a captured wild horse. After a friend was murdered, he follows his heart to California gold camps in pursuit of Marion Patton, an independent woman with a vision for the country, if not of her own destiny. Eventually, an Alder Gulch mine tragedy near Virginia City forces Kent to confront his unresolved relationship with the North. Read More...
La Búsqueda de Shanleya
Una aventura botánica para niños de 9 a 99 años
Escrito por Thomas J. Elpel, autor de Botany in a Day
Ilustrado por Gloria Brown. Edición Española 2016, traducido por Janeth Warg
En un mundo mítico donde el Tiempo es un líquido que cae en forma de lluvia, Shanleya remó su canoa hacia "Las Islas del Árbol" para aprender las tradiciones de las plantas de su pueblo. Cada isla es el hogar de una familia diferente de plantas y de un Guardián inolvidable, con lecciones para aprender acerca de la identificación y uso de esas plantas.
La Búsqueda de Shanleya es un libro único verdaderamente educativo, que presenta conceptos botánicos y habilidades de identificación de plantas en un formato metafórico fácil y divertido para los niños y adultos. Read More...
A Guide to Self-Building with Slipforms
By Tomm Stanley
(Now distributed by HOPS Press, LLC)
Born and raised in the USA, author Tomm Stanley hopped around the world working in Antarctica, Australia, southeast Asia and New Zealand, where he found a partner and settled down. Tomm and Sabrina had lots of rocks available on their land, and so slipforming was the obvious choice for building their dream home. Thomas J. Elpel had the good fortune to meet Tomm Stanley while vacationing in New Zealand and was privileged to receive a personal tour of the house.
The slipforming method they used is similar to early slipforming methods used in North America, with one significant improvement: Instead of wire ties to hold the forms together, Stanley ran threaded rod through plastic sleeves, and used wingnuts on the outside of the forms to tighten the forms. The plastic sleeves stayed in the wall, but the threaded rod could be used again and again. Read More...
Foraging the Mountain West
Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat
Available June 2014
By Thomas J. Elpel and Kris Reed
There's food in them thar hills! There is also food in the valleys, meadows, swamps, and all around town, too... maybe even in your own backyard. Foraging the Mountain West is a guide to harvesting and celebrating nature's abundance. Reach out and explore the world with your taste buds. Discover new delights you will never find at the store. Connect with nature on a deeper level by meeting, greeting, and eating the plants, fungi, and creatures that share the neighborhood. Become a little more self-sufficient, and a lot more aware.
Foraging the Mountain West is a hands-on manual for identifying, harvesting, and preparing real food. It is written for the backpacker who would rather bring more knowledge and fewer provisions into the wilderness. It is intended for the happy homemaker who wants to eat well and spend less. It is ideal for the creative chef who wants to explore new ingredients and impress diners with novel dishes. Read More...
Botany In A Day APG
The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
An Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families
Sixth Edition, June 2013
By Thomas J. Elpel
Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.
Each family of related plants has unique patterns for identification. Learn to recognize these patterns, and discover them again and again in the plants you encounter. It is possible to instantly recognize a plant never before seen, and in many cases, to know its edible or medicinal properties on the spot-even before you have identified it down to the species! Read More...
Build Your Own Masonry Fireplace DVD
With Builder and Author Thomas J. Elpel
Video Companion to
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Released May 2012
Build an authentic masonry fireplace with the efficiency of a masonry
stove! The baffle system in this fireplace extracts heat from the
exhaust, warming up the thermal mass of brick and rock. The masonry
fireplace can radiate heat for three days after the fire is out!
In this instructional video, Thomas J. Elpel demonstrates the step-by-step process of building a masonry fireplace, starting from the foundation and ending with the chimney. Elpel shows how to lay up the brickwork for the core of the fireplace, how to build the arch, and how to build the baffle system. With the brickwork complete, Elpel demonstrates freehand stone masonry, using natural rock to lay up the stonework around the brick core. DVD. 2012. Read More...
Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Building Your High-Efficiency Dream Home on a Shoestring Budget
by Thomas J. Elpel
6th Edition, Released May 2010
The house of your Dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is--all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!
Living Homes was completely re-organized and revised for the new sixth edition, based on five additional years of building experience with low-cost, high efficiency construction methods. Get the latest ideas on how to build a high-performance house that will stand the test of time! The sixth edition includes fifteen pages of new material covering the latest stone masonry tips, plus revised and expanded tips and techniques throughout the book. Living Homes is 245 pages, including an incredible 300+ drawings and grayscale photos. 6th Edition. 2010. Read More...
Classroom in the Woods
Primitive Skills for Public Schools
DVD with Thomas J. Elpel and the Harrison Junior High Kids
Released June 2010
Amid a growing awareness of the need to reconnect kids with nature, Classroom in the Woods vividly demonstrates the power and promise of hands-on, immersive experiences to put kids in touch with the real world. In this enlightening video, author and educator Thomas J. Elpel brings a class of junior high students out into the woods for three days and two nights of hands-on wilderness survival and primitive skills experience.
Leaving textbooks behind, the kids revel at the opportunity for hands-on learning, as they build a shelter, forage for wild edible plants, make a bow and drill fire set, stalk and observe wildlife, and bake bread in a stone oven. The students create fire from wood, and then use that fire to shape bowls and spoons and cook their food. In the process, they learn about themselves building self-confidence, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and attunement to their surroundings. Read More...
I'm a Medicine Woman, Too!
A Tale of Herbal Wisdom and Personal Empowerment for Budding Healers and Daydream Believers
Written and illustrated by Jesse Wolf Hardin
Released June 2009
I'm a Medicine Woman, Too! is a colorful and soulful book of self discovery and personal empowerment for budding healers, as well as every kid heeding a calling or pursuing a dream.
Rhiannon is the inspiration and model for this tale of realization and growth, as she first resists believing she could ever be a Medicine Woman like the herbalists and healers she's met... but then realizes the ways in which she is already the woman of power she hopes to be. Included are thirty-five full color illustrations, including eleven frame-worthy depictions of various Medicine Woman archetypes including an Apache with her mano and metate grinding stones, a Hispanic curendara in her adobe Botanica herb shop, and an Anglo teacher, gardener and herb chef. I'm a Medicine Woman, Too! is a wonderful book to connect children with herbal traditions. The story role-models an ethic of healing and caring for other people and honoring our elders. The delightful illustrations touch the reader at an emotional level, compelling us to become healers too Read More...
Participating in Nature
Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills
6th Edition. Released January 2009
Get in touch with your wild side! Primitive living is a way of learning about nature by participating in it. Instead of merely camping in the wilderness or passing through it, you can become part of the process. You learn about nature by using it to meet your needs for shelter, fire, water, and food. You set aside the trappings of modern culture and step directly into nature with little or nothing, to experience nature on its own terms.
Tom's guide gives you a direct, hands-on experience of the world around you. With this book you have the opportunity to discover the thrill of staying warm and comfortable without even a blanket! Experience the magic of starting a fire by friction. Butcher your own deer and braintan its hide to make warm buckskin clothing. Learn about edible plants of the Rocky Mountain region, plus processing techniques and "primitive gourmet" skills like making wild strawberry ashcake pies or stir-fry cooking without a pan. Read More...
Roadmap to Reality
and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
Released May 2008
What if our entire experience of reality were based on an assumption that could be proven false? In Roadmap to Reality, Thomas J. Elpel tests the assumption that we are a sentient (self-aware) species, and finds evidence suggesting otherwise. Like automatons, we copy beliefs and behaviors from generation to generation without consciously evaluating why we do what we do. We absorb a definition of reality and act on it, without ever questioning the source of that definition. In short, we don't act; we react.
Roadmap to Reality is the quest to unravel the illusions to discover what reality really is. The journey follows the link between technology and thought, showing how hunter-gatherer, agricultural, industrial, and informational societies define reality in predictable ways. In essence, production technology dictates how we perceive cause and effect, how we solve problems, and how we approach parenting and governing. Read More...
Stone Age Living Skills
Video Classics Series on DVD
Released July 2007
The Stone Age Living Skills Video Classic Series brings back to life on DVD some of the best primitive skills videos ever produced on VHS video. Our first three discs in this series feature seven great movies from four top instructors: Jim Riggs, Brian James, Robert Earthworm, and Melvin Beattie. Topics covered include: friction fire with the handdrill and bowdrill, plant fiber cordage, the primitive lifestyle, hide tanning with both wet-scrape and dry-scrape techniques, plus knapping arrowheads and making primitive arrows. Read More...
on a song and a paddle
Released January 2007
With two water bottles and a flute in their canoe, Thomas J. Elpel and intern Kris Reed go survival camping at the local lake. Amidst the abundant waterfowl, wildlife, and intermittent rain showers and thunderstorms, they camp for three days and two nights and demonstrate all of the skills required to meet their basic needs, including: Read More...
See a pattern?
Patterns in Plants Card Game
By Thomas J. Elpel. Illustrated by Gloria Brown
Photos by Thomas J. Elpel and Mary Ellen Harte
Read the book. Play the game! The Patterns in Plants Card Game is a fun way to test your skills at identifying the family patterns described in Shanleya's Quest. Learn to see the patterns in the game. Then you will be able to recognize them in the real world! ISBN: 1-892784-23-8 March 2006. $15.00 Read More...
The Art of Nothing
Wilderness Survival Video Series
With Thomas J. Elpel and special guests
DVD Version Released January 2006
Have you ever dreamed of being able to walk out into the woods to survive with nothing but the clothes you have on? You are not alone. In a society that is very disconnected from the natural world, many individuals find themselves wondering about what lies beyond the pavement. We know that our ancestors lived by their bare hands and wits alone, but how did they do it? How would you do it? What would it be like to be so connected with the natural world that you could just leave everything behind and walk away into the woods? It is easier than you might expect. Read More...
In a mythical world where time is a liquid that falls as rain upon the land, young Shanleya paddles her canoe out to the tree islands to learn the plant traditions of her people. Each island is home to a separate family of plants and an unforgettable Guardian with lessons to teach about the identification and uses of those plants.
A Botany Adventure for Kids Ages to 99
By Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day
Illustrated by Gloria Brown
Shanleya's Quest is a truly unique educational book that presents botanical concepts and plant identification skills in an easy and fun metaphorical format for children as well as for adults who are young at heart. Read More...
Slipform Stone Masonry Video
Want to build a stone house? It's easier than you might think! Slipform Stone Masonry brings to life the nuts-and-bolts of the slipforming process featured in Tom's book Living Homes.
With Builder and Author Thomas J. Elpel
DVD Version Released August 2004
Slipforming is the process of using forms on both sides of the wall as a guide for the stonework. The forms are filled with stone and concrete, then "slipped" up the walls to form the subsequent levels. Slipforming makes stone work easy even for the novice. Now Available on DVD! Read More...
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