What began as a community project to revitalize the historic Prices Fork Elementary School in 2012, has flourished into the non-profit 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 supports 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 is the Millstone Kitchen Manager, bringing 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
Jenny Schwanke is the Community Garden Coordinator. Before her community garden work, Jenny directed the Blacksburg Farmers Market, taught primary school and university English composition classes, and worked as a field and lab technician for the former Agronomy, Agricultural Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments at Virginia Tech. Her education background is in biochemistry and English literature. When not working, you can find Jenny in her home garden in Catawba, walking in the woods and dipping beeswax candles.
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
- Michelle Narramore, Administrator of Warm Hearth at Home
- 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