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On a chilly spring day in Humboldt County, more than 70 clothing-optional volunteers stood butt naked in an attempt to shed light on old growth redwoods threatened with the ax.

Photographer Jack Gescheidt travels the world shooting beautifully naked people for “Tree Spirit Project,” a collection of fine art photos of “naked vulnerable humans celebrating trees and the natural world,” on a mission to “spread awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and personally.”

Sacred Grounds

“Strawberry Rock” is a Lion King-esque grouping of flat-topped stones shaped like the succulent fruit, overlooking the historic lands of the Tsurai and Yurok Tribes, just off an unmarked trailhead above Highway 101.

The trail is as illicit as Humboldt’s current cash crop, privately owned by Green Diamond logging company. Hundreds of hikers trespass daily, gazing out across a sea of redwoods stretching down to the Pacific Ocean at Trinidad State Beach.

Be the Tree

Tree sitter, “Eugene,” has called the tree top line just off trail “home” for the past year, living on a platform inside the canopy, stating the trees have protected him, now it’s his turn to protect the trees.

“Every morning I wake up, I’m sitting on top of the world,” he penned from his perch. “Trees do so much for us, it’s only fair we do something for them. I’m up here because clear cutting is not sustainable.  It’s never been the smart thing to do. “

Simple Math

It takes four acres of trees and many decades to produce the same amount of paper from one single acre of hemp, in a single growing season.

Using the whole plant with no waste paper made of hemp packs more muscle, is naturally acid-free, has a longer shelf life, and costs less than half to process as tree paper.  More sustainable in the long run, Hemp paper can be recycled 10 times, with wood-based paper failing after the second go-round.

Hemp Not High

With no psychoactive properties (less than one percent THC), hemp was taken off the number one cash crop chart for merely resembling  the highly profitable, federally illegal cannabis sativa.

Vegans dig hemp for its high protein content. Natural News touts hemp seeds as being “… the purest, most nutritionally dense food on our planet.” Dosed with vitamins and minerals, hemp is the only edible seed with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid and anti-oxidant, easily digested by humans in the raw.

Historically Used by Homo-Sapiens

Humans were wrapping themselves in hemp as early as 8000 B.C.; relying on it for everything from ships sails to rope; and calling it medicine as early as 3727 B.C. in China.

Sweden developed fiberboard in the mid-1930s, with DuPont filing its patent for nylon and its pulp-making machine about the same time, and the “Marijuana Tax Act” was created, slamming the door on hemp innovations on U.S. soil.

By 1938 an article in Popular Mechanics reported more than “25,000 consumer goods” were being made from hemp in a last ditch effort to save production, but the damage was done.

Industrial Age Blunders 101

The synthetic materials that followed DuPont’s invention of nylon were well-intended for saving trees, but the factories producing the replacements dirtied the air, the earth, and poisoned every living thing in the process.

Auto-maker Henry Ford built and fueled a car with hemp, but was ignored as the oil and chemical companies of the day bellied up to the bar with big bucks for ripping up the earth for fossil fuels.

The vocal leader of the eco-unfriendly movement was newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst (think Rupert Murdoch with balls), with a keen interest in wood for paper, a voice for propaganda, and no concern for sustainability in the industrial age.

Remembering Mom

Can naked people in trees save the world? The next time you load up your bong with sweet bud, remember those who stood naked in the cold Humboldt air for its mother plant, Hemp. She’s waiting in the wings of America, ready to be planted again.


For more information about Jack Gescheidt and Tree Spirit Project, visit the Web site

In The Land Of The Ancients teaser v2 HD720 5.5.13 from Jack Gescheidt on Vimeo.


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Editor’s note: Sharon Letts began her love of gardening in Southern California by her mother’s side, watching as she buried fish heads at the base of roses.

At 24, Sharon hung her shingle, “Secret Garden,” planting flower beds for dainty ladies. Gardening led to producing and writing for television with “Secret Garden Productions.”

Today Sharon continues to write about gardening and all that implies, advocating for the bud, and writing for many magazines, including DOPE (Defending Our Patients Everywhere).

She also pens “Road Trip: In Search of Good Medicine,” touring MMJ states, following the Green Rush.



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