You don’t have to wait until fall to walk through a farm field maze. A sunflower maze recently cropped up at Sidor Farms in Mattituck.
The Sidor sisters — Cheryl and Maureen — have been growing sunflowers at the site, located at the intersection of Wickham Ave., Elijahs Lane and Route 48, for several years. They tried out doing a sunflower maze once in 2012 and, after a six-year hiatus, decided to bring it back for the 2018 season.
“We realized people had been pulling over to take pictures and really loved it,” Cheryl said. “There’s something very beautiful and serene about the fields.”
On Sunday, they opened the new sunflower maze to visitors. Cheryl has been getting the word out on social media through the family’s North Fork Potato Chips Facebook and Instagram pages, but many visitors are intrigued by simply driving by.
One group of nurses from Queens trekked out to the North Fork to enjoy a day off. When plans to visit the lavender farm went awry the sunflowers lifted their spirits.
“We found it driving by,” explained Lauren Jones of Commack. A lucky find, agreed her friends Alice Cheng and Patti O’Leary of Queens. “It was so beautiful,” Ms. Cheng said as the three snapped a selfie together. “We loved it.”
Though the sunflowers provide a pretty backdrop for Instagram-worthy photos, they are also an important crop for the Sidors, who use sunflower oil to fry their potato chips.
“They die naturally, dry up and a combine comes through going very slowly,” Cheryl said of collecting the seeds and eventually press the oil out.
Cheryl educates visitors on the family’s farming history and potato chip company, which launched in 2003. Visitors also leave with some new knowledge about the popular flower and its namesake.
“Their heads will turn ever so slowly throughout the day to follow the sun,” Cheryl explained.
The second time’s a charm for visitors Erica and Bobby Tsioutas of Bayside, who spotted at the maze Thursday with their daughters, Sofia and Alexia.
“There’s no way to not feel happy looking at this field,” Erica remarked. “It’s like the field of dreams.”
The sunflower maze is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to sunset. Admission is $5 for adults, children under 12 get in free.