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Volunteers Help Fulfill Dream Of Former North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor

NORTH OGDEN, Utah – It’s been more than two years since former North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was killed in Afghanistan. Volunteers have responded to a call to bring to life the dream he once shared with his family.

Prior to his death in 2018, then-North Ogden Mayor and Utah National Guard Maj. Brent Taylor wanted to use his “mini-farm” to help teach his children lessons about life.

Two years after he was killed in Afghanistan, preserving the space has proven to be trying for his widow, Jennie Taylor.

“It’s been really overwhelming in the three seasons that he’s been gone to try to keep up on it and water it and weed it,” Taylor said. “Getting little kids to work in the farm is a lot of work.”

It was a different overwhelming feeling on Friday, however, as multiple companies and several volunteers worked together to restore the major’s mini-farm.

“I go from crying from the sheer emotion of thinking, ‘I can’t believe people are this generous to my family,’ to crying because I’m so happy that the weeds are going to be maybe more manageable, to crying that I get to keep that peach tree he planted,” she said.

Landscaping firm Stratton & Brätt and CEO Zack Stratton saw a social media post from Taylor in June about wanting to harvest from the land and organized the effort to bring the dream to life.

“We heard that she would like to get the garden up and going, and we just wanted to help,” said designer Donna Showalter. “Hopefully, this will be something beautiful and it will be very long-lasting for her and her family.”

The group’s restoration plan included a mini-orchard with 98 fruit trees, a pumpkin patch, corn field, 14 garden boxes for vegetables and a play area for Taylor’s children.

“I joke that this is what Brent’s getting for Christmas this year – the mayor’s mini-farm is getting a makeover,” Taylor beamed.

Taylor said she believed her late husband had a role in what is taking place.

“This is Brent helping me parent our children,” she said. “My little boys as they work on that (peach) tree for years to come—they’ll always know, ‘I planted that tree with my dad.’”

Taylor expressed gratitude for all the love from the community and help during the makeover.

“Just thank you, everyone,” she said. “I just can’t say enough – thank you so much!”

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