The popular Sidor Farms sunflower maze returned this summer to the delight of fans who’d been awaiting the arrival of rows of yellow blooms since it debuted the year before.
In its second season, the Sidor sisters — Cheryl and Maureen — opened the Instagram-friendly field to visitors, who learned about it through the social media accounts of their family business,North Fork Potato Chips, or through friends whose beautiful photos caught their eyes.
The sisters have been growing sunflowers at the site, located at the intersection of Wickham Avenue, Elijahs Lane and Route 48 in Mattituck, for several years. They attempted a sunflower maze once in 2012 and, after a six-year hiatus, decided to bring it back for the 2018 season when they realized passersby kept pulling over to snap pictures.
This year, photographers were able to book private one-hour time slots every day from 8 to 9 a.m., before the maze opened to the public, for engagement shoots or family portraits.
The sunflowers are not just a pretty backdrop for Instagram-worthy photos, however. They are also an important crop for the Sidors, who use sunflower oil to fry their potato chips at their Cutchogue facility and are trying to grow them to create their own oil.
Cheryl educates visitors on the family’s farming history and potato chip company, which launched in 2003. Visitors leave with some new knowledge about the popular flower and dozens of pretty photos they are likely to share for the world to see, in turn luring even more visitors.