OGDEN, Utah — The family of late Major Brent Taylor received a huge make-over on the family farm, that they unveiled during an "Earth Day party" on Thursday. The plot of land behind the Taylor home in North Ogden had fallen into disrepair after Major Taylor's death.
Signs of spring took root on the mini farm Thursday, as people planted cabbage and other vegetables in a large garden.
A coop stood ready for chickens to nest in. Kids hopped into a sandbox to play.
Jennie Taylor's property behind her home was lively on the warm Earth Day evening, filled with music from a band.
It was also filed with gratitude.
"It's been a whirlwind of gratitude," Taylor said. "My kids and I have been so blessed and we're just so grateful."
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Up until now, the mini farm wasn't even close to ready for planting season, because normally Jennie's husband, Brent Taylor, took care of all the gardening.
She said it's what he loved to do.
"There was something about turning over a shovel a dirt, that just kind of helped him reconnect with what matters most," she said.
Major Taylor, who also served as the mayor of North Ogden, was killed in Afghanistan in 2018 while on deployment. Since then, she said, the farm really fell into disarray.
"It was just weeds, and it was overgrown, and everything needed to be taken apart," she said.
While speaking at an event before the pandemic, Taylor said she met a man who mentioned he worked at Stratton and Brätt. At the time, she didn't know anything about the company.
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"He gave us a call, and said, 'Hey I want to come over and maybe help with some of your garden work,'" she recounted. Taylor explained that she assumed he was just going to show up with a couple of people and garbage bags and help clear things out.
Instead, Stratton and Brätt showed up with a landscape designer and full-fledged plan to completely revamp the farm. From there, other businesses offered time and services, turning the Taylor property into the Major Taylor Mini Farm.
The piece of land now features an orchard, corn field, vegetable garden, pumpkin patch, chicken coop, sandbox, grapevines and more.
Taylor indicated that she wants other families to enjoy their pumpkin patch this fall, and she can't wait to offer all the extra fruits and vegetables to family, friends, and neighbors.
The mini farm is once again ready for planting season.
"This farm helps me parent my kids with my late husband, knowing the values and principles that are so important to him. And they're going to manifest themselves as we pull weeds, as we harvest, as we plant, as we argue over whose turn it is to go get the chicken coop cleaned," Taylor said. "That's the way that he carries on with us."
Bringing back the farm, while bringing back a beloved hobby of Major Brent Taylor.