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.
LWEG’s mission is to cultivate and nourish communities by supporting and promoting local food, farms and community gardens; the creation and growth of jobs; the advocacy of a home for everyone, and the gathering of friends and family.
At Live Work Eat Grow, we cultivate vibrant communities.
Millstone Kitchen Manager
Laina Schneider 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.
Community Garden Coordinator
Steve Kruger 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.
Board of Directors
- Kevin Byrd, Executive Director of the New River Valley Regional Commission
- Joseph Fortier, Founder and Manager of Taylor Hollow Construction
- Shelley Fortier, Community Member
- Christy Gabbard, Local Concepts Inc.
- Emily Gibson, Montgomery County Planning Director
- Teresa Martin, Vice President and Mission Deposit Manager at Virginia Community Capital
- Justin Mosby, Associate Director of Philanthropy, Guideposts Foundation
- Ellen Stewart, Housing and Community Development Grants Coordinator for the Town of Blacksburg and New River Valley HOME Consortium
- Kim Thurlow, Housing and Community Development Initiatives Manager for the Town of Blacksburg and New River Valley HOME Consortium
- Elisabeth Willis, Community Member
- Jennifer Wilsie, AICP, Senior Planner with the New River Valley Regional Commission