TomTato plant makes homemade ketchup and fries a cinch
This strange plant grows both tomatoes and potatoes
Update: Good news, Canadians! It turns out we beat the Brits to the punch. Dubbed the "Ketchup 'n' Fries" plant in this part of the world, it's been available here for at least a year now. You can buy this year's batch beginning in May at Costco and some independent garden centres.
Previous story below:
Got a love of gardening and a hankering for fast food? Innovative horticulturalists have created a way to combine the two.
U.K.-based horticulture company Thompson & Morgan has developed a plant that grows both cherry tomatoes and potatoes – meaning you can get your homemade fries and ketchup fix from a single source.
The product was first announced in 2013, and now it's finally commercially available.
Dubbed the TomTato plant, it's the result of more than a decade of work. Apparently tomatoes are members of the potato family (who knew?), allowing this plant to be produced without genetic modification, but rather by grafting tomato and potato plants together at the stem. Each plant is grafted by hand.
"It has been very difficult to achieve because the tomato stem and the potato stem have to be the same thickness for the graft to work," Thompson & Morgan director Paul Hansord told BBC.
The grafting technique works by cleanly cutting the stems of the two plants and taping them together at the ends until they heal.
Though the TomTato plant is gaining widespread attention, a similar product called the Potato Tom has been quietly available in New Zealand for a few years now.
Meanwhile, we're still waiting on Tomacco.
- A previous version of this story stated that this plant was not available in Canada. In fact, a variety of this plant has been available to Canadians for at least a year.Apr 26, 2016 12:25 PM ET