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What began as a community project to revitalize the historic Prices Fork Elementary School in 2012, has flourished into the organization Live Work Eat Grow. The old school renovation now includes mixed-income apartments, an independently owned restaurant, a local brewery and a shared-use kitchen.  Together, these entities not only provide an economic benefit, but a renewed energy in our community.

Today, Live Work Eat Grow operates as a 501c3 nonprofit supporting sustainable, community food systems, farms and gardens.  At Millstone Kitchen and our multiple community gardens, we foster small food businesses, preserve space for communal gardening and support food security initiatives throughout the region.

Our mission is cultivate vibrant communities by fostering local food, farms and gardens; creating jobs and growing small businesses; supporting an affordable home for all; and gathering friends and neighbors.

At Live Work Eat Grow, we cultivate vibrant communities.

Millstone Kitchen Tour during Grand Opening

Our Staff

Laina schneider
executive director

Laina brings to the position her diverse background in food and agriculture. She has worked with academic, non-profit  and private sector entities in the U.S. and abroad in Guatemala, Honduras and Nepal. Laina is also a cook, and prior to joining Millstone Kitchen, worked as a Sous Chef in California at a farm-to-table restaurant. She holds a B.S. in Crop and Soil Environmental Science from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California, Davis. When not working, you can find Laina hiking, camp cooking, or riding her motorcycle. 

Steve kruger
Community Garden Coordinator

Steve earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2018 in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, specializing in Agroforestry and edible, medicinal, and decorative native plants of the Appalachian region. He was a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Tech and the Catawba Sustainability Center, then did extension and outreach work.  Prior to coming to the NRV he documented and promoted traditional arts, crafts, foodways, and occupations for the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. When he’s not working he likes tending his own garden, spending time in the woods, and playing fiddle and banjo.

Emma jensen
millstone kitchen Coordinator

Emma Jensen earned her B.A. in Sociology from Seattle University, where she developed a passion for food access. After graduation, she began immersing herself in the food system by working on family farms and running low income food access programs for farmer’s markets. Before her move to Blacksburg, she managed an island farm off the coast of Maine. In her free time, you’ll find her cooking something new, throwing pottery, and gardening.   

Board of Directors

  • Kevin Byrd, Executive Director of the New River Valley Regional Commission
  • April DeMotts, Montgomery County Board of Supervisors
  • Deborah Edwards, Director of the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market
  • Shelley Fortier, Community Member
  • Christy Gabbard, Owner of Local Concepts LLC
  • Emily Gibson, Director of Community Relations at Virginia Tech
  • Lia Kelinsky-Jones, Post-Doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University
  • Justin Mosby, Associate Director of Philanthropy for Guideposts Foundation
  • Elisabeth Willis, Community Member
  • Jennifer Wilsie, AICP, Senior Planner with the New River Valley Regional Commission