By Margaret Magnus
The idea of building of a new Workshop started on January 13, 2007, at a work party in honor of Agnes Baron’s 100th birthday. Agnes Baron, born on January 17, 1907, was a co-founder of Meher Mount who cared for the property for Avatar Meher Baba from 1946 until her death in 1994.
Whenever individuals are doing the manual labor that has been one of the hallmarks of Meher Mount - pulling weeds, trimming trees, cutting tall grasses by hand, and hauling trash and debris - the discussion always turns to how to make the tasks easier.
Then Manager/ Caretaker Ray Johnston identified one solution: a tractor. Days later, Meher Mount received a $40,000 donation – $20,000 for the tractor and $20,000 for a “fireproof” building to house the tractor.
Within months Ray had researched the options and made a recommendation to the Board of Directors to purchase a Kubota tractor with attachable implements, including a grass cutter, disk harrow, and box blades for just under $20,000.
The fireproof garage was another matter.
TRACTOR GIVES MEHER MOUNT NEW STANDING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The new Kubota Tractor changed Meher Mount’s standing in the neighborhood and helped to improve relationships with its neighbors.
When Manager/Caretaker Ray Johnston was mowing a remote patch of land for extra fire protection in the particularly dry spring of 2007, the nearest neighbor came out to see the tractor.
Then he brought out his tractor to help with the discing, and a friendly discussion and greater long-term cooperation ensued.
Later, Ray began using the disc on another patch of land near another neighbor – again, an area that Meher Mount never had the manpower to address previously. That neighbor then sent over some of her workers to clean up their land by Meher Mount’s driveway.
The tractor has been in regular use since its purchase in 2007: mowing, discing to create additional fire breaks, grading the entry way road to control erosion, and pulling out dead trees.
- The Workshop - The Need for a "Fireproof" Building