020: Suzette Clarke Wants Your Kids to Get Dirty

020: Suzette Clarke Wants Your Kids to Get Dirty

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Suzette Clarke is on a mission to reconnect thousands of kids a year back to the land. Slide Hill Ranch, the original organic farm in America, offers a holistic remedy for the childhood epidemic she identifies–lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and a disconnect with nature. This sort of alienation doesn’t discriminate between the wealthy and impoverished. Both groups are isolated from the earth in distinct ways. But all kids who pass through the ranch are left no choice; the cardinal rule is “get dirty.”

  1. Kids need more freedom outdoors.
  2. Children know intuitively how to survive and we lose that ability over time.
  3. To help remedy the epidemic of children not exercising, eating well and being outdoors, it’s vital they connect with nature early in life.

Panel Notes:

Joe Desena: Who knew that the original organic farm was in California? Suzette runs America’s original organic farm and is doing some amazing things with it like bringing kids each and every day to the farm to show them that milk doesn’t come from a container. She has her work cut out for her to help make this farm thrive, but even though essentially retired, she is up for the challenge.

Sefra Alexandra: True resiliency and self-reliance come from knowledge of your environment and how to grow your own food. Richard Louv author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder discusses the imperative need for nature connection and education in our society. Suzette Clark has helped to pioneer the educational initiatives found on organic farms around the globe. Below are easy access points to get yourself, your family and community involved in the wonders of the outdoors: become a Professor of the Paleo~

How to be a naturalist mentor & facilitate nature awareness games:

Great teaching resources for Garden Based Learning:

Other Useful Links:

Join the conversation:

  1. Children and Nature

Johnny Waite: She runs a farm outside of San Francisco that also has educational programs to reconnect people to the land and the natural sources of their food. This is absolutely critical as most people have no real idea where their food actually comes from, nor have many people ever set foot outside the asphalt jungle of the cities! Fascinating conversation!

Resources and Mention:


  • Video and Audio Production – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
  • Audio Post Engineer – Aaron Moore
  • Synopsis – Matt Baatz