Manuel (Manny) Poy has always had a love for the natural world, and since an early age, he has studied biology, zoology, botany, and ecology at every opportunity. During his college years in the Hudson Valley, Manny spent much of his time working outdoors in landscape architecture and carpentry, and then ultimately farming while working with Brook Farm Project. It was in this work that he first developed his passion for regenerative agriculture; he studied the tenets of permaculture, experienced the variation in ecosystems throughout a landscape, and deeply connected to the passage of time on nature’s clock.
Upon returning to NYC, Manny worked at both the New York and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens where he led youth on explorations of the living world and environmental stewardship. There, he met his partner, Saara, a fellow educator/urban farmer/naturalist. He then spent several years at Project EATS, leading the expansion of farm operations and production capacity. He designed, constructed, and managed multiple sites, building a cohesive network of farms with a center-out operations plan. Building farms and honing his leadership skills, he learned to plan projects strategically, staying one step ahead of peak season and the avalanche of tasks that accompany it.
He joined Brooklyn Grange in spring 2019 as Facilities Manager, taking a broad view of the business’ operations and departments, and ensuring that all three sites are functioning at peak capacity. Manny came aboard at a critical juncture, just as Brooklyn Grange’s third and largest farm in Sunset Park launched, and he wasted no time in ensuring that space was both functional and beautiful prior to opening its doors in summer 2019. When Manny isn’t juggling a to-do list that pulls him in three directions at once, he’s usually with his partner and two sons, Mazi and Majid, exploring flora and fauna in the urban jungle.