Back to basics in the Midwest
Luxury camping experience, The Fields of Michigan, reawakens the nostalgia of sleeping in nature on a blueberry farm in the middle of nowhere
By Jacquelyn Lumley Images courtesy of The Fields of Michigan Sunday 1 November, 2020 Long read
‘You forget how charming your hometown is until you move away,’ she admits. ‘I always say that I have the privilege of perspective, and what I mean by that is I have the privilege to have travelled.’ Wood grew up on a South Haven farm that produced corn, soya beans, and pigs. ‘A typical grain farm,’ she says. When her father retired, she made the decision to ‘take it over and figure out how to farm something fun. So, I was coming back to my hometown with a different set of eyes… not because I had to be here, but because I was choosing to be here.’
She bought the blueberry field, quickly popped up 10 tents, and built a lean-to shelter. Six months later, in June of last year, The Fields of Michigan opened to guests. Each tent has its own bathroom and shower, luxe linens, a fire pit, vintage bicycles, and s’more kits on demand. Coffee’s ready at 8, breakfast by 9ish. It’s not just a tent in a field, although she’s always reminding people of this humble reality.
Just as fast as she popped up that first tent, Wood is revving up operations at The Fields. Next year the property will increase to 19 tents, with a new on-site bar and a spa in the pine tree forest by the back river. ‘I think as long as we stay authentic, people will continue to come because authenticity never gets old,’ she ponders. ‘You never tire of it as it’s always evolving.’
‘With everything that’s happened this year, it seems people have a strong desire for human connection again,’ reflects Wood. ‘It’s the reawakening of that for me. It’s started to stir this feeling of youth that has been covered in dust for so long. Like that feeling of lingering just a little bit longer than you normally would, allowing yourself to really be in the moment. There’s just something magical that takes place. It’s so contagious that you become a seeker of it wherever you go. The Fields is just a spotlight on that connection to community and the space that surrounds us.’