County Master Gardener program begins Jan. 8

Do you like gardening? Do you have all the answers? Are you interested in horticulture? Would you like to help others with their horticulture questions? If you have an interest in improving your skills and knowledge, along with the desire to work with people, the Master Gardener program may be for you.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Master Gardener program and training provides gardeners with the opportunity to improve their horticultural knowledge and skills and then share their experience with the public through organized volunteer activities. The training is conducted by the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Office in St. Lucie County.

As a Master Gardener, you can help to educate and advise home gardeners in the care of house plants, landscapes and vegetables, including insect and disease control.

Being a Master Gardener volunteer is fun, interesting and rewarding.

The next training begins Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Classes meet all day every Tuesday for 12 consecutive weeks. The cost is $210.

Interviews will be held in November, as space is limited. To apply, contact Kate O’Neill, education outreach coordinator for St. Lucie County Extension, at 772-462-1445 or

Library seeks authors for fifth annual Book Fair

Attention Treasure Coast Authors: The St. Lucie County Library System is currently accepting applications for the fifth annual Book Fair scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2019.

Past events have filled up with 40 different Treasure Coast authors at two branch libraries. The 2019 Book Fair will take place at the Susan Broom Kilmer Branch in Fort Pierce and the Paula A. Lewis Library in Port St. Lucie.

Writers of adult fiction and nonfiction who live in St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties, whose works are published in print or as an e-book are invited to submit entry forms with copies of the book or link to the e-book that they wish to display and sell. In general, any book that a writer plans to exhibit must meet the same broad criteria as books purchased by the Library.

Designed to showcase the talent of local writers, authors can be self-published or have a commercial publishing deal. Participants will be able to talk one-on-one with the authors, purchase books and have them signed.

To ensure a quality experience for all involved, space at each location is limited to 20 authors. Priority will be given to first-time exhibitors. Any remaining slots will be awarded to eligible authors based on the date their completed application is received. Entry forms are available at all St. Lucie County Branch Libraries and online at

Interested authors must complete and submit an application packet, containing a completed form, a copy of the writer’s driver’s license and a copy of a printed book or a link to any e-book intended for sale. Preference will be given to authors who did not participate in previous book fairs. Authors who did participate in last year’s fair will be accommodated on a space-available basis.

Entry packets must be submitted to the library by Saturday, Dec. 1. Packets can be dropped off at any branch library or mailed to Program Coordinator Jennifer Johnson at the Kilmer Branch Library, 101 Melody Lane, Fort Pierce.

For questions or more information contact Jennifer Johnson at (772) 462-2199 or

The St. Lucie County Library staff will review all entries and send a follow-up letter or email confirmation by Jan. 19, 2019. An author whose work is not selected may appeal to the Library Director for a review.

World Diabetes Day and Month recognized

The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie recognizes World Diabetes Day, and World Diabetes Month. The theme is “Family and Diabetes,” raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and support network of those affected. The role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes has been a necessity for many families.

In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S.

There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes, so it is especially important for women to be aware of their risk factors for developing diabetes, including having a family history of diabetes as well as age, weight and physical activity level.

There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but a healthy lifestyle can really reduce its impact on your life. Thanks to better treatments, people with diabetes are now living longer — and with a better quality of life — than ever before. A blood test from your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. Early treatment can prevent serious problems diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.

Take the Pre-Diabetes risk test: 84 million American adults have prediabetes and 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. You can find English and Spanish versions of a risk test you can use online at

To learn more, visit

For more information about World Diabetes Day, visit

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