Oregon-based Territorial Seed Company announces the US unveiling of ‘Ketchup ‘N Fries’, a tomato grafted with a potato (or is it the other way around?). It took a decade’s worth of research to create this masterpiece. Being called a “tomtato,” the plant combines to nightshade family members (Solanacaea), with staggered maturity times so that the plant can focus all of its energy into making cherry tomatoes before forming over 4 pounds of all purpose potatoes.
Grafting isn’t a Frankenstein-like procedure. It’s a centuries old practice that involves attaching a scion (top part of the plant) to a different root stalk, usually chosen for disease resistance or vigor. It’s super common in orchards, and grafted tomatoes hit the market in the US a few years ago, too (I wasn’t super impressed).
And though I know it’s a traditional method of breeding, seeing tomatoes on the top and potatoes on the bottom is giving me the heebie-jeebies! But I might not be able to resist trialing this in the Test Garden. Also, the name is kind of cute. And hey, if you want to spend a whopping $19.95 for one plant, you can trial one right alongside me.
What do you say?