A man who hoped to farm enough food for his family to be self-sufficient, while filming a reality TV show about his experience, says he's not sure full time farming is for him.
The second season of the French-language show Agrofolie will premiere February 15 on the Unis channel.
During the first season, former Moncton teacher Patrick Thibeault used the Lewis Family Farm near Salisbury and, while it was challenging, he had some success and a lot of fun — so much so he signed on for another year.
"I'm a guy that likes a challenge," Thibeault told CBC Radio's Shift this week.
This year, Thibeault moved locales to a different farm near Cape Pelé, where an older couple are considering getting out of business, which he suggested is pretty common, noting the median age of farmers is about 65.
Thibeault said the question he wanted to answer was is it possible to farm enough food to feed his family without having to visit the supermarket.
Too many animals?
Besides produce, he also raised a barnyard of animals, maybe too many, he admits.
"We had two pigs, 101 meat chickens, two turkeys, two goats for meat and then 12 egg laying birds, chickens," Thibeault listed.
During Season 2, he also decided to share the work, and the yield, with his neighbour.
"It's nice to have somebody there in case you need a vacation or if you want to go anywhere. (There's) not a lot of cow and goat babysitters hanging around," he joked.
He said the least fun part was this fall when they slaughtered the animals.
(There's) not a lot of cow and goat babysitters hanging around. - Patrick Thibeault, star of Agrofolie
With the second farming season over, and the second season of Agrofolie set to premiere, Thibeault said he has lots of thinking to do — but he does have an answer to his original question.
"Yes it is possible to be self-sufficient," he said. "But there comes a point where gardening and raising animals is a hobby and when you take on too much and it becomes a lifestyle. So it's a good thing if that's what you want to do with all your free time, but if you have any other interests you might want to go at it slower than what I did."
Ultimately, Thibeault's not sure if farming is the lifestyle he wants.
"I think I'm going to be just re-evaluating the whole thing to see what I want to keep and what I prefer leaving to professionals," he said.
The show will also be available online at www.agrofolie.ca