The pic turned up on Twitter yesterday ... the plants are growing in potting mix I imagine with some factory-made nutrients added. There's a few package-type Tomato-growing kits around, some as high as $40 each with a fancy trellis. These ones have a stake to support the stem but it's not clear to me what happens next. The weight of all that fruit is considerable so whatever-it-is needs to be robust. It looks like a very good system for a small space.
I often think I should try something like this because we have bacterial wilt in the soil.
They look to be growing very well indeed, I agree they are going to need some support. I heard of this method of growing tomatoes many years ago, I think it could be ideal with many viruses that seem to be the demise of tomatoe plants. I have a couple growing in pots, low growing varieties planted in a specific tomatoe growing medium and they seem to be doing well too. Anything is worth a try if the end result is good. :)
Weirdly and rather annoyingly, my experimental Tomato in hydroponics has some disease. I've never tried to identify it but target spot or similar is probably what it is. Since the plants are growing without soil and in new tubes, it should not be something which is soil-borne - unless they came with incipient disease from the commercial propagators. They are huge water users and have run out of water some times, stressing the plants and making them more likely to be infected by a passing bacterium/fungus.
Now hydroponics are supposed to offer the perfect solution for any plant. Although I doubt that, since every plant's needs are different. Apart from the fact that I don't like buying in fertilisers ... the Lettuces are doing well though and that's the way to go for a continual supply for us over summer.
Masters sell bags of tomato growing soil for $5. Could be a cheap experiment. You would have to allow for drainage with the plastic bag. The one above seems to be some kind of permeable material.
These plants are staked and would have to be with all that weight.
Why the pots? Why not just go straight into the potting mix?
I expect the seeds are started in the pots (?) and it might provide some height for drainage. You can do the same with fruit trees in the garden.
Now there's and idea especially with Avocado and clay soil!
I imagine the pots stop the soil spilling out of the holes. You'd probably need to remove the bottom of them before you put them in - just cut them off with secateurs I'd imagine. Some question about why not just have a mulched well-insulated container, but hey, it's a good gimic :)
I suppose it's good for one-off tom growing without the expense of purchasing a pot - or if you were renting etc. The crop is certainly a good one no doubt due to the tom specific mix in the bag.