Tomtato is not a person, rather it’s an incredible plant that gives both potatoes and tomatoes as its product. It’s been cultivated in the UK, and contrary to what others believe, it’s not genetically modified, it’s actually 100 percent natural.
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Before Tomtatoes, similar plants have been made in the UK, but this particular plant is the first to be successfully produced commercially.
With the help of advanced grafting, Tomtato, also known as veg in a pot, was created by the England-based horticultural firm Thompson and Morgan.
In the previous versions of the plant, the problem was in the taste, but it seems Tomtato has found the perfect mix.
The idea was born when the firm’s director, Paul Hansord, visited a garden in the US and saw a potato planted underneath a tomato as a prank. But he realized that it’s possible through grafting since the two belong to the same family. That was 15 years ago, and now he has perfected it.
He said that grafting is a bit difficult to achieve because for it to work, the stems of the tomato and potato should have the same thickness.
Hansord had to go through countless of trial-and-error process before finally perfecting it with the help of grafting experts.
The process starts by cutting a piece of tissue from each plant about the size of a pinhead, inspect for viruses, then grow them individually in gel and in compost. Once they reached two inches tall, their stems are sliced in the same angle and implanted to each other. The plants are then clasped together until it joins naturally.
Grafting is done in a special laboratory in Holland, then the plants are shipped to UK to be put in greenhouses until grown enough to be sold.
According to the producer of Tomtato, the plant is good for one season. By the time tomatoes are ripe enough to be collected, potatoes can be harvested also.
Both products have been tested for poison and certified safe for eating. In fact, the plant’s cherry tomatoes are sweeter than those sold in the supermarkets, Hansord claims.
“It can be planted from late April and produces trusses full of tomatoes, which have a traditional tangy, sweet flavor, from July to October and a good hearty crop of potatoes of a versatile variety, which can be boiled, mashed, roasted or made into chips, for late in the season.”