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

Your weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top stories… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

UPDATE: Boat sinks in less than a minute on Mitten Lake

A Saturday afternoon at Mitten Lake quickly turned sour for a local… Continue reading

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

Authorities did not specify what caused the vehicle to go off the road.

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Kootenay Anglican bishops, priests grapple with same-sex marriage vote

After same-sex marriage amendment rejection, priests, bishops voice discontent

Feds issue battery technology challenge at energy conference in Cranbrook

Provincial and territorial energy and mines ministers talk policy, challenges at annual meeting

The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Most Read