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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Japanese Beetle "Fruit Leather"

Japanese Beetle "Fruit Leather"

Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 519
I know that many of you are struggling with what to do about Japanese Beetles in your gardens. There are many approaches but we often fall back on simply collecting them by hand into a jar of soapy water. I thought I would offer this permaculture recipe which takes the "waste equals food" ethic seriously.

2 cups of drained, collected Japanese Beetles (no more than 24h in the jar)
(if you've collected them in soapy water, use Dr Bronner's mint or lavender soap to minimize undesirable flavors in final product)
4 cups of fresh or frozen local berries (strawberries or blueberries work well).
2 cups of sugar OR 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup honey
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon (optional)

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until you have a paste. You may add a small amount of water during processing to ensure a smooth final product.

Spread paste on a clean baking sheet lined with wax paper or baking parchment. "Dry" in a very low oven (175 - 200F) until leathery. When cool, remove from paper and cut into serving sizes and store in a dry dark place. Glass jars are best.

OK, if you've read this far and you are not aware of my mischievous nature....I wanted to post this on April 1st but decided to wait until JB season was in full swing. Seriously...if anyone comes up with a real solution they will probably get rich. smile
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 63
Ahhhhh ha ha!! I believed you!

I like to think of my time picking off the beetles from the raspberries as my zen meditation practice - I've replaced being aware of my thoughts with awareness of the beetles hiding spots.
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 53
(knock on wood) i haven't seen any around my area yet, but wouldn't chickens, maybe even ducks, love them? what about killing, drying, and grinding them into a protein powder to add to chicken, cat, dog food? or maybe they'll be more palatable in fruit leather and smoothies in that fashion. ;)
Gorham, ME
Post #: 229
Supposedlythere are a couple flowering plants tat are irresistable to them ut end up killing tem.

4 oclocks, suposedly are one of those. as is larkspur.

I plan to grow several small beds of them away from the food plants they like, and plant the white mums near thefood plants.

white chrsanthemums supposedly repel the beetles
user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 63
Hi Alder.

Chickens LOVE J. Beetles. That's what I do with the ones here. The flock follows me around as i pick them off and feed the beetles to them.

Lori P
Portland, ME
Post #: 18
Japanese Beetles fruit leather! Lisa, you are evil.

I do put dead Japanese beetles into my compost pile, though . . .
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 232
Let your Japanese beetles drop into a bowl of tempura batter. You know the rest.....

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 233
Put them into a jar of fresh oregano for 24 hours first for Italian style.........

A former member
Post #: 184
Good one Lisa! Sure gave me a good laugh this morning.
Merry & Burl H.
Portland, ME
Post #: 83
One gotcha for you, Lisa. I was actually contemlating... David's recipes sound yummy too. (By the way, David, I emailed Herald. Thanks.) Our visit to Winter's convinced Burl that I wasn't crazy to want chickens wandering around our yard. This thread will put the plan over the top. Chickens next spring for sure. Jill, my CSA farmer, also say milky spore for getting at the larvae before they become mature, armored combatants. I hate knowing that they have already done in the roots of our tender cherry tree in a previous incarnation before we even see them chewing the leaves and doing the wild thing.

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