April Fools

BBC’s spaghetti tree story

As a child growing up in Scotland, I vividly recall a family argument over this video:

Broadcast on April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs programme Panorama, this 3-minute clip told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree. At the time, the UK was just emerging from WWII rationing and spaghetti was still an exotic dish, usually only available in tins. The BBC was so well respected and the announcer’s voice so sonorously convincing, the network received hundreds of calls from viewers who either wanted to point out the fallacy, or wanted to know where to buy their own spaghetti tree. For the record, my Mum and I weren’t fooled for a minute, while Dad and my brother were completely taken in!

Gnome Management in the Garden

More recently, Utah State University Extension published a 4-minute video explaining the perils and management practices for a new invasive species — the garden gnome. Kudos to Jerry Goodspeed, who manages to keep a straight face for the entire time!

TomTato plant makes homemade ketchup and fries a cinch

The TomTato plant grows cherry tomatoes on top and potatoes underneath. (Thompson & Morgan)

This is not a hoax. Several variations on this grafted tomato / potato plant exist, including the Thompson & Morgan one shown here. Elsewhere the plant is known as “Ketchup & Fries”. More recently an “Egg & Chips” plant was introduced. It’s based on the same grafting principle, but the “egg” is actually an egg plant.

How to Grow Chocolate M&Ms

Back in 2014, GrowVeg produced this convincing video tutorial that was calculated to appeal to chocolate lovers and gardeners everywhere.

The text accompanying the video reads: Whether you’re encouraging your kids to start gardening, or just want to save money on your grocery bills, growing your own chocolate makes a lot of sense. It’s well known that chocolate can be a difficult treat to grow, especially getting the fruit to mature with the correct colors and flavors. In this video we explain how to sow and space your chocolate plants correctly, and demonstrate key techniques to make sure you will be harvesting delicious M&M’s throughout the growing season.

Sadly, despite the convincing gardening tips, this story is a hoax.

Hope you enjoyed this roundup of garden hoaxes. Happy April Fools Day!

4 replies on “April Fools”

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