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Bag-A-Nut Beginnings: A Brief History From Our Longest Standing Employee

Bag-A-Nut Beginnings: A Brief History From Our Longest Standing Employee
long time employee of Bag-A-Nut
In 1989, Bag-A-Nut officially became a company and Mr. James Dudley, the inventor of the machines, had to decide who he wanted on his team to make the company thrive.  Lisa Hendrickson had worked with Mr. Dudley when he was running Alpha Molding in previous years.  In 1992, Lisa was hired to build the newly invented Bag-A-Nut units and now, 27 years later, continues to succeed at her job.  She has a very unique perspective because she has seen the company blossom into what it is today.  She has been here from the beginning and remains the longest standing employee of the company.
   Working for Mr. Dudley was great, she said.  "He was a very hard worker, and even though he was older than us, he could outwork us."  He enjoyed seeing the machines set out before they were boxed up, just to admire the finished product.  After a long day working hard he would say to the employees "Let's just go on home."
   She explained back then the methods for assembly were a lot more tedious.  Specifically, the tag-along machines were easy to mess up.  "It was frustrating because you would spend a long time working and if it didn't turn out just right, you'd have to throw the whole thing out."
   Lisa also recalls watching Caleb Dudley, the current CEO, grow up and turn the Bag-A-Nut Old Machinescompany into the success it is today.  "When Caleb would come to the workshop at about 15 years old, he would help build the machines.  That was back when we used wooden hammers."  She said it's been quite an experience because now she sees Caleb's sons come help at the shop too.
   She has also seen the changes in the Bag-A-Nut products themselves.  She says the assembly process is much more convenient these days and as the products improve, the process of building them becomes smoother.
   When asked what she enjoys most about working for the company, she said "It's a family-owned business and they treat you like family.  They really care about their employees.  When I got hurt a few years back, they assured me I would be taken care of.  My co-workers are great and the hours are perfect for me."  She also shared she loves the Christmas parties.
   It's amazing to think about all she has seen.  She's experienced the ups and downs, watched the products continue to transform and improve, and is as dedicated as ever to making sure the Bag-A-Nut machines are always assembled correctly.
Lisa, long-time employee of Bag-A-Nut with her sister.

Sweet Gum Ball Crafts

Sweet Gum Ball Crafts
Have you ever quickly glanced at something and thought it was an eyesore, only to discover it could be turned into something beautiful?  There are many examples of this in nature.  All we need to do is look closer.  This time of year, sweet gum balls are falling in high volumes and you may consider them to be a nuisance.  However, these seed pods could actually be utilized for many different craft ideas including for holidays, home decor projects, and kids crafts!
sweetgumball craft Sweetgum balls, also cleverly nicknamed porcupine eggs, are extremely versatile.  They would look great in the fall as part of a Thanksgiving centerpiece and could be incorporated into many Christmas crafts.  For example, they could be painted and turned into unique Christmas tree ornaments, strung together to make a garland, glued together to make wreaths, or shaped into mini Christmas trees.  With a few simple crafting supplies, they can take on many different shapes, like snowmen or Christmas trees.
They can also be used in home decor projects.  Spray paint them different colors, attach them to a stem, and they look like flowers in a vase.  Lightly spray paint them white and surround a candle or fill a jar with them for a gorgeous centerpiece.
Sweetgum balls can also be great for kid's crafts because you can usually find a lot at once.  Cover them in glitter, glue them together to form different animal shapes like mice and birds, or make a heart-shaped wreath for Valentine's Day.  (Make sure to supervise since the seed pods can be prickly.)
Collect them from your backyard and save money on crafting supplies.  Bag-A-Nut has 6 Sweet Gum Ball machines to choose from in a variety of sizes and styles depending on your need.  For more ideas, search "sweet gum ball crafts" on Pinterest and be amazed at what you can create!
sweetgumball crafts

Sweetgum Balls and Tamiflu®

Sweetgum Balls and Tamiflu®


We all know that sweet gum balls are a pesky part of the sweetgum ball tree (also know as Liquidambar).  They get all over the ground, your pets can damage their paws by walking on them, you can’t walk barefoot in your plush green grass – they are just a nuisance!

Well…..there are some benefits to those pesky gumballs.  Come to find out, the seeds inside that sweetgum balls contain shikimic acid, which is what is needed to make the flu-fighting drug Tamiflu®.  As Tamiflu® became more and more popular, the main source of shikimic acid, the star anise tree (a native of China) became scarcer and the search was on for other sources.  Shikimic acid was discovered to be in pine needles and infertile Sweet Gum seed.  Quite a few people have posted different methods to use/extract this acid for taking advantage of the shikimic acid.

Not only are the seeds medicinal, but there are also claims that the black sap in the tree, though bitter and sour has antiseptic qualities.

The Sweetgum Ball’s wood is second only to the Oak. The sweetgum wood has many uses, particularly veneer, furniture, flooring, interior trim, woodenware, paper pulp and to make baskets. 

Now, knowing all this please consider keeping that beautiful tree.  Get yourself a Bag-A-Nut Sweetgum Ball machine to get those pesky gum balls off your lawn.  Don’t cut it down!