St. Mary's County Times September 07, 2017 - Page 7

Local News The County Times Thursday, September 7, 2017 7 Cigar Shop Not Just Blowing Smoke televisions and an air filtration system that takes much of the smoke away. “The air is so clear that aside from a small amount of cigar smell, it doesn’t stick to your clothes,” Lustig said. Aside from premium cigars there are dozens of premium beers and spirits available, Lustig said. “We’re shocked,” Lustig said of how well received their business has been in Leonardtown. “We have an amazing business and it continues to grow.” Their business here surpassed even the cigar shop they owned in Waldorf, By Guy Leonard Staff Writer After just one year of doing busi- ness in Leonardtown, Jeff Lustig and his wife say their Leonardtown Cigar shop has raked in $1 million in rev- enue; they never expected this kind of success from a business they started because they thought it would be fun. “It’s something that’s not quite Leon- ardtowney,” Lustig told The County Times. “It’s a little disruptive.” Lustig and his wife, entrepreneurs who have stakes in many different businesses including a veterinary hos- pital, retired here and found there re- ally was not much in the way of fine cigars and premium spirits. So they decided to fill the demand, Lustig said. “A lot of people shook their heads when we opened this busi- ness,” he said. “But we smile at our success everyday.” Lustig said the cigar room departs from the cliché of being a dark chamber with leathe r chairs and thick smoke. Instead they’ve decorated their cigar room with bright colors, big screen Ten Steps to Home Composting Why Compost at Home? • Composting recycles your wastes into a valuable soil amendment that can be used to improve your soil and plant- ings. • Disposal of leaves, grass, clipping and other yard waste is a problem for homeowners. Lustig said, which made an impressive $650,000 in revenue in its first year. Their love of cigars is deep, as they own a cigar business in Florida as well, Lustig said. It’s all part of keeping an entrepre- neurial momentum going. “It’s the only way to put four girls through college,” he said. • Yard and food waste make up 30% of the solid waste stream in the U.S. • Composting is easy, requiring minimal amounts of space and eff ort. STEP 1: Selecting a location – You don’t need much space for this project, an area as small as 6’ by 6’ is plenty. If you plan to compost in the winter, choose a sunny spot, otherwise a location with some shade will help to keep the compost moist during the summer months. STEP 2: Bin design – You can purchase a ready made bin or build one yourself out of basic mate- rial(s). The simplest enclosure made of 3’ wide, 1” wire mesh, formed into a 3’ diameter circle, securing the ends to one another using wooden stakes for support. Another easy enclo- sure is by reusing four old shipping pallets, secured side to side, making a square box. STEP 3: Filling the bin – All organic matter, things that were once alive or come from living things is compostable. This includes yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings, kitchen wastes such as fruit and vegetable leavings, cof- fee grounds, tea leaves, egg shells, etc. DO NOT compost animal products such as meat, bones, fat, grease or pet feces. STEP 4: Effi cient composting – Any combination of organic materials will eventually degrade. For a higher quality product, use a mixture of com- patible material. Rule-of-thumb, mix equal parts of BROWN (dry leaves, straw, sawdust, etc.) with GREEN (grass clippings, garden weeds, kitchen scraps) ingredients and shred or cut larger mate- rials for quick composting. Keep kitchen scraps on the inside of the pile to decompose faster. STEP 5: Let’s get started – When combining your BROWN and GREEN ingredients, you should add a shovel or two of soil, this will add microbes into the mix to facilitate the decompos- ing process. Also, add a small amount of water, you want the compost to be slightly moist, the microbes work better in this environment. STEP 6: Heat – After a week, check to see if the pile is heating up. This is part of the compost- ing process. The center may get as hot as 150 degrees F. If the center isn’t warmer than the outside of the pile, you may need to add more GREEN materials to get the process started. STEP 7: Turn the pile – Composting works best under oxygen-rich conditions. The pile should be turned at least once a week with a shovel or pitchfork. This will ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and will become completely broken down. STEP 8: Troubleshooting – Odors stem from two possible problems: too much GREEN, or not enough oxygen. In either case, immediately turn the pile to introduce more oxygen. If the problem is too much GREEN, add more BROWN material(s). An overly wet pile may also cause bad odors, if so, use less water. STEP 9: Compost – After three to ten weeks and many turnings, your compost should be dark, moist, crumbly and ready to use. STEP 10: Using your compost – Technically, compost is not a fertilizer, it is an excellent soil amendment that improves the structure and quality of your soil. Use your compost in garden beds to increase soil porosity and aeration, around shrubs to keep weeds at a minimum and help retain moisture. For additional recycling information, contact the St. Mary’s County DPW&T at (301) 475-4200 or visit MDE website at: