The great seed mix-up of 2023 has impacted gardeners across the country, and something funky may be brewing across the pond as well.
Last week, a Redditor from West Sussex, England, shared that they grew what look like mutant tomatoes after their husband had planted “normal tomatoes.”
“All of my tomatoes look like this,” they wrote. “I’m not even mad; they look amazing, like something from the game ‘Atomicrops.’”
The poster also shared a photo of a cross section of the bulbous fruit and said: “Looks kind of gross to be fair.”
Commenters noted the produce looked strikingly like a Reisetomate tomato or a traveler tomato.
The original poster pointed out that they had planted Gardener’s Delight, Roma, and cherry tomatoes as well.
“I have an extremely laid back approach to doing anything however, and I think I just transferred them in a box and stopped looking at them for a while,” they wrote. “Maybe there wasn’t enough space so they all globbed together.”
Like in the United States, the United Kingdom was once an agricultural society. But only 1.2% of the working population is employed in agriculture, which makes up less than 1% of the country’s gross domestic product.
Still, farming accounts for 80% of the U.K. landscape, and growing your own food has many benefits, including sustainability, improved health and nutrition, and community building. It’s also more cost-effective and supports local pollinators.
Everybody can grow their own food, or you can join a community garden. Either way, you’re reducing your “foodprint,” or the toll industrial food production takes on soil, air, water, workers, and communities.
As for the tomatoes in question, they may be another great gardening mystery.
“I really don’t think we planted German Travellers tomatoes,” the OP referred to Reisetomates in response to a comment about possible soil contamination. “I think something went wrong.”
Another user said: “It sounds like the flowers were cat faced, which leads to weird tomato fruits, though usually they don’t look quite like this.”
“I’m wondering if the plant is very dense with foliage and the tomatoes grew together like that for lack of room to grow normally,” one commenter said. “I only say that because the second picture looks like part of it is falling away from the rest of the bundle so they could be separate tomatoes forced to grow like this for lack of space. Just like you can get molds to grow fruits and they grow into the mold and have a novelty shape. Just a thought.”
The OP replied: “That sounds about right, actually. Like a jungle in there. No, I haven’t learned anything. Yes, I will probably do this again next year.”
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