As the best potato producing village, Sumber Brantas Village in Bumiaji District, Batu City, Malang, East Java usually has a better life of its people by planting potatoes. Even, they have a traditional ritual before potatoes are planted. The ritual is called ‘Potato Ponjo’. Ponjo is a Javanese term which means to plant. Accordingly, Potato Ponjo is the ritual performed just before planting potatoes. The ritual is performed in the middle field and it is usually carried out to start the potato growing season.
Potato Ponjo is held to offer a prayer so that the potato plants are safe from all plant diseases. The ritual of Potato Ponjo is usually carried out in the field where the potatoes will be planted. In practice, farmers must bring many types of food complete with Wungkul Ingkung or roasted chicken. But the others still maintain the old tradition by continuing to carry out rituals in the fields.
Before the Potato Ponjo ritual starts, Chanting prayers using the Javanese language is also said by the elders of Sumber Brantas Village. After praying together, the Potato Ponjo process starts, the elders and the people enter 16 seeds of potato into the soil. A total of 16 potato seeds is not just the number. The number has been determined from the Javanese calendar in which the potato planting day is on Saturday Pon. In this ritual, the people should pay attention to the Javanese calendar. After as many as 16 potatoes are planted, farmers are free to plant their fields until they are full. This ritual also starts the performance of Kaki Langit Festival held in Batu City. This festival is a form of preserving the culture of growing potatoes, while at the same time, this potato planting is a moment to establish friendship while drinking coffee and Nunu or baking potatoes.