Donors and volunteers threw a garden party Thursday for Jennie Taylor, widow of late North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor, as they presented her with an overhauled backyard farm ready for a fresh planting season.
Pleasant Grove-based landscaping company Stratton & Brätt Landscapes, several other garden and equipment suppliers, and others unveiled the farm’s new irrigation system, grow boxes and fields cleared of weeds, part of a series of charitable upgrades meant to make the hobby farm more manageable for Taylor and her seven kids.
Backers held the evening party, with free barbecue and a live band, to show off the improvements, celebrate Jennie and her family, and remember what the backyard patch meant to Brent Taylor, who was killed in 2018 while on Army National Guard duty in Afghanistan.
The North Ogden mayor, who was 39 when he was shot and killed by an Afghan commando under his training, used to revel in farm chores, his wife said, along with lessons in hard work and posterity that his children learned by participating.
“It looks so beautiful, so thorough and so amazing,” Taylor said Thursday of the refurbished spread. That first spring after her husband’s death, she said, filled her with pain and dread. But this spring, “time has taught us and strengthened us and given us a deeper perspective.”
“Isn’t it beautiful that life continues on even after death? Isn’t it beautiful that my husband’s memory continues?”
Stratton & Brätt Landscapes CEO Zack Stratton said his firm’s donation was only part of “what’s really been a remarkable public outpouring for this family. It’s been a good chance for us to give back, after having this last year we’ve all experienced together.”