Profoundly Promiscuous and Totally Tasty Tomato Project

Gardeners love tomatoes, but centuries of inbreeding have created a vegetable that is highly susceptible to disease and weather extremes. Joseph Lofthouse’s Beautifully Promiscuous and Totally Tasty Tomato Project is re-invigorating this crop with wild genetics, creating an outcrossing or “promiscuous” line of seeds that will serve as a foundation for farmers and gardeners everywhere to select tomatoes that thrive in their local conditions, and solve whatever pest, disease, or climate problems are thrown their way. 

Promiscuous tomatoes are marked by large, bright flowers with exposed stigmas, like the one shown here. With the diverse foliage types and showy flowers, they are a beautiful sight in the field. Flavors are diverse as well, ranging from fruity to funky.

For the summer of 2024, 8 growers across the United States are trialing a self-incompatible (i.e. it requires a genetically distinct individual to pollinate and produce fruit) line of tomatoes. You can follow along with their observations in the gallery below.

Observation Gallery


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