TomTato plant grows both tomatoes and potatoes
The TomTato consists of the top of a cherry tomato plant and the bottom of a white potato plant, that have been grafted together at the stem
We've seen a number of innovations that allow for gardening in small spaces, including a ferris wheel-like contraption, a mat that shows you where to plant specially-prepared seeds, and a system that lets you grow vertically-stacked veggies in your window. The TomTato, however, is in a league of its own – it's a single plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes at the same time.
Created by UK horticulture company Thompson and Morgan, the TomTato is not the result of genetic engineering. It's "simply" the top of a cherry tomato plant and the bottom of a white potato plant, that have been grafted together at the stem.
While it's been possible to create such hybrids for a long time, the taste of the resulting tomatoes has apparently left much to be desired. According to the company, however, the TomTato's fruits have a Brix (sugar content) level higher than that of most supermarket tomatoes, along with "just the right level of acidity that only the tastiest tomatoes have." The potatoes are said to be fine for boiling, mashing or roasting.
The TomTato is purchased as a grown plant (as opposed to in seed form), and lasts for one growing season. One plant can reportedly produce up to 500 tomatoes and 2 kg (4.4 lb) of potatoes. More information is available in the video at the bottom of the page.
Thompson and Morgan states that this marks the first time that grafted tomato/potato hybrids have been produced commercially. According to a BBC report, however, another such plant has just become available in New Zealand this week. It's made by Incredible Edibles, and is known as the Potato Tom.
If you're interested in getting a TomTato of your own, and you live in the UK, you can order one now for £14.99 (US$24). Delivery is scheduled for the end of next May.
Source: Thompson and Morgan via BBC
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
The author seems confused. As the story makes clear the plant is the result of grafting two plants together ... it is not a hybrid.
Thats purely a 'lab' achievement and has little or no reallife benefits
For 24 USD, plus similar amount for shipping to my country India ( ie a total of about 50 USD or Rs. 3500) I can get 100 kilos of tomatoes or 200 kilos of potatoes even at today's inflation driven rates !
In another month or so when winter sets in, I could get 200 kilos of tomatoes and 400 kilos of potatoes with the same amount as prices of food commodities ease off !
I think that is really cool.
That's nice, but I'll hold out for my surf-n-turf organism that will grow both lobster tails and ribeyes.
These have been commercially available at various times over the past few decades in the USA. I've seen them offered in various seed catalogs.
I'm glad it's a graft and not a hybrid.
It seems the more hybridizing of food we do the worse our health gets.
A little cross pollination is fine because that occurs naturally, but new things created using gene manipulation is a way we will all lose.
After seeing what Monsanto is doing with Flax & Roundup pretty soon our kids might be growing potatoes. No more GMO's
Atul, the world doesn't revolve around the needs of your country. Vegetables in the US are usually a few dollars a pound. As mentioned clearly in the article, these tomatoes are superior to your supermarket ones, worth the premium if any.
And it won't be a "lab achievement" if they start producing locally for India will it?
Some thing new I did not know I do (probably) not need, yet still a fun concept.
I'm not sure what the benefit aside from the novelty this has. When you dig up your potatoes it kills your tomato plant. Using two plants instead of one you would have the same benefit for far less money,
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