A plant breeder has blended two varieties to create the world’s first black and white tomato plant.
Experts at Sutton Seeds previously made a strain called Indigo Rose – the planet’s only black tomato. But now they have blended the Indigo Rose with a white-cherry strain to produce the black and white variety.
Black tomatoes are actually a pretty old group of cultivars, originally from Russia. They’ve got this interesting, meaty, less astringent thing going on that makes them really good raw. Indigo Rose is hardly the first or only black cultivar. All these guys really did was graft one of the more popular new varietals of black/purple tomatoes to a pre-existing white (or technically pale yellow) varietal and call it a day. Plant grafting is a crazy old technique…
The first thing to note is that giant vegetables truly are gigantic. Any amateur can grow a pumpkin bigger than himself, but today’s giant pumpkins are closer in size to a Volkswagen Beetle. “I remember back when I first started growing giants,” Stelts, who started competing in the nineteen-seventies alongside his dad, said. “Two hundred pounds was like, wow! But the lowest you’ll see at these contests today is a thousand pounds. Over a thousand means you’re serious.”
The British have traditionally excelled at giant-vegetable cultivation. They hold world records for the heaviest red cabbage, leek, cucumber, parsnip, and zucchini, as well as the longest beetroot. But the hobby is gaining popularity in the United States—the number of officially sanctioned weigh-offs has more than doubled in the past decade, going from twenty-two in 2004 to fifty-five in 2014.