The Weeds 'n' Water fundraising campaign and new water treatment system in 2003 started a chain reaction. It set in motion a number of projects and ongoing activities along with a planning approach that continue to shape Meher Mount today.
Weeds ‘n’ Water was both a fundraising campaign to raise $24,000 and a project to provide potable water and purchase a ride-on mower for weed abatement and fire protection for Meher Mount.
Its success demonstrated the power of planning and fundraising with community support and participation. In addition, Weeds ‘n’ Water helped to create a better visitor experience and to make the Manager/Caretaker job more manageable.
“We returned from vacation on September 20, 2016, and found water leaking at the well,” explained Manager/Caretaker Buzz Glasky. “We also found low water levels in the pool (which acts a reservoir before the water is treated) and in the 5,000-gallon holding tank. There was nothing in the agricultural water tank.”
The well pump had stopped working.
Avatar Meher Baba gave these comments about spiritual masters using the analogy of a water-diviner (a person who locates where a well should be dug) during a trip to Dhule (Dhulia), India, in August 1929.
In the mid-1960s, my then husband Mik Hamilton and I traveled around the world in an attempt to meet Meher Baba. On March 7, 1966, we met Him in Meherazad, India.
When we returned to the US, we lived in Santa Barbara, California – about a 50-minute drive from Meher Mount. We continued to correspond with Meher Baba. One topic of our letters was helping Agnes Baron at Meher Mount.
It all started with a routine question from the Ventura County Planning Department in reviewing plans for the construction of a new Workshop at Meher Mount: “How far is the septic tank from the proposed buidling?”
"Far enough," we said.
That question got the Board to thinking about the septic tank – one of those “deferred maintenance” projects that keeps getting, well, deferred.
On a cold, foggy day in the winter of 1968-1969, Agnes asked me, Bobby Hazard, Rusty Bostwick, and Charles Christian to help her pull the pump out of the well so it could be repaired or replaced. Apparently it had stopped working, and no water was available at Meher Mount.
It was about 1965-1966 and Murshida Ivy Duce [of Sufism Reoriented and a follower of Avatar Meher Baba] had told a story about Agnes' plight in the mountains of Ojai with a non-functioning well on the property.
Agnes had to go daily to bring water up the mountain in buckets to the house from some place [a natural spring] down the mountain.