Bjorn Bonjean of Spirit Hills honey winery in Alberta is shown in an episode of Belgian TV show “Boer Zoekt Vrouw” in this undated handout photo.

‘Farmer Wants a Wife:’ Alberta bachelor stars in Belgian reality TV show

Bjorn Bonjean, a 28-year-old winemaker, is one of five farmers vying for the hearts of Belgian women

Bjorn Bonjean didn’t have trouble dating in southern Alberta, he just hadn’t found the right woman when producers of a reality television show in Belgium came calling.

The 28-year-old winemaker is one of five farmers from around the globe vying for the hearts of Belgian women in the show that echoes the long-running North American series “The Bachelor” and its spinoffs.

“Boer Zoekt Vrouw,” which translates to “Farmer Wants a Wife,” has been on the air for about 10 seasons but its latest series stars bachelors in other countries who are originally from Belgium. Besides Bjorn from Canada, there’s Jitse, who runs a therapeutic care farm in Norway; Jeroen, a dairy farmer in Germany; Manu, an olive farmer in South Africa; and Jan, a cowboy in Australia.

“They roll up their sleeves, have a passion for their business, but they lack that nice Flemish woman,” says the show’s website.

Filmed earlier this year, the show just started airing this week on the VTM network. Bonjean says he’s sworn to secrecy on the outcome set for November.

“I can’t tell you if it ends with a proposal or not,” he says. “It’s not like ‘The Bachelor’ … The entire idea is to give the opportunity of something happening. But there’s no expectation of a proposal or even a relationship after it.”

But Bonjean did reveal that he’s happy.

“I’m happy with the choice that I’ve made.”

Bonjean was seven when his family moved to Canada from Grobbendonk in northern Belgium. They now run Spirit Hills honey winery near Millarville, southwest of Calgary. Bonjean is head winemaker, using honey from the farm’s own beehives to create various wines and sangria.

The show’s producers originally wanted both Bonjean and his sister to be part of the season, as bachelorettes have been featured in some versions of the show. But she was dating someone and didn’t speak Flemish or Dutch as well as her brother, said Bonjean.

He was also dating someone at the time and turned down the offer. Months later, after a break up, he agreed to join the show.

Bonjean said it’s nothing like “The Bachelor.” There are no rose ceremonies. And there’s little drama.

After airing profiles of the five farmers, 1,500 women sent the show photos and letters. About 150 wanted to meet Bonjean.

In the first episode, the bachelors travel to Belgium and, after putting on black eye masks, are lead into a horse riding arena and onto a stage of hay bales before a crowd of screaming women.

They each meet 10 women in a speed-dating round and, after choosing five, go on an afternoon group date. They then select three to bring back to their home countries.

Bonjean said it was awkward at first talking with potential partners while cameras were rolling, but he got used to it. He also used his trip to Belgium to visit with his grandmother and meet with wine importers, who agreed to market Spirit Hills in the country.

“We chose Bjorn Bonjean as he’s good looking, in a good age category, and he runs a lovely, organic farm on a magical place on Earth,” the show’s story editor, Katrien Geens, said in an email.

She also refused to hint at whether he finds love.

“How it ends, remains a secret, until aired.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Most Read