My pathetic orchard consists of 6 fruit trees that were neglected almost to the point of death when we bought our land. I have weeded, mulched, and fed the little trees, pruned their branches, and been rewarded with a harvest of exactly 2 Golden Delicious apples in 3 years. Only 2 of the trees have set any fruit, I am hopeful that the others will bear once they have another variety to help pollinate the blossoms and will give me some peaches and pears.
In the meantime I attempt every summer to keep the Japanese Beetles from devouring the leaves with traps and manually dropping each bug into a jar filled with oily water. This method has its flaws as many of the beetles fly away in the day and fall to the grass during the evening round if the branches are jostled. Last night at dusk the baby and I ambled down past the swingset with our jar and a new weapon: a flat white bed sheet. I spread it under the tree and shook the trunk a bit to see over 30 beetles fall onto the fabric. Julia Ellen and I picked them up and plopped them into the jar with more than an appropriate amount of glee. "Yucky bugs!" the baby chirped as she scooped them up. By the time we shook each tree, our little container was full of dozens and dozens of dead beetles. I don't know if our efforts violate the 5th Commandment, but I do know with certainty that no one will consider me the next St. Francis.