Sun: The Ultimate Energy Source | Juan Cabrillo

Today, at Juan Cabrillo, we talked about where our energy originates. Beginning with the sun, we drew a sequence of images that lead to us (humans).

SUN (source of energy) –> PLANTS (producers) –> INSECTS (primary consumer) –> LIZARD (secondary consumer) –> BIRD (tertiary consumer) –> HUMAN (quaternary consumer)

The students were really surprised that humans eat birds. But then realized that turkey and chicken are poultry 😀

We alluded to ecosystems and how everything in nature needs each other. We determined, according to our chart, that it takes five steps for energy from the sun to reach us.


So then we went to the garden to find two steps of the food chain in the garden.


Here the sun is giving the basil energy and the plant is producing food for the moth. Another example is the featured image above 🙂

Hope Cox

Native to Tennessee, Hope fell in love with urban farming while majoring in Nutrition/Dietetics at UT Chattanooga. She volunteered at an urban farm there for two years and gleaned (pun intended!) bushels of knowledge about harvesting & planting, CSA box coordination, farmers market stands, school field trips, farm-to-table and more. When Hope moved to Los Angeles in late 2014, she began volunteering with EnrichLA and soon after became a Ranger. She loves sharing with her elementary students the hands-on experience of gardening, finding bugs, composting and eating from the garden. The expression of glee on the students' faces when they discover a new critter or favorite vegetable is the best part of Hope's day! One day, she hopes to be a real farmer in the country but for now is glad to be learning the ins-and-outs of inner-city farming.