“Everything is governed by the moon,” says boat builder Sam Feltham, “You wouldn’t cut timber when the moon was wasted; you would cut on a new moon. If you cut it after a full moon the wood shrinks faster.”
Jack Casey from Conche, on Newfoundland’s northern peninsula, also abides by the cycle of the moon when cutting wood for his boats.
“You always cut timber on the rise of the moon. You wouldn’t cut it when the moon was going out. Same with animals. You wouldn’t slaughter an animal on a waning moon because the meat would shrink.”
Known as moon phase harvesting, this ancient practice has been used worldwide to naturally preserve harvested wood. Like the ocean tides, the moon plays a role in the rise and fall of sap in the wood. Cutting during hibernation months in the fall and winter on a waxing cycle of the moon, when the sap is low, produces better quality timber.