About the Waikato Foodbasket

Welcome to the Waikato Foodbasket!

Hi, I’m Alice. This is my blog celebrating the delicious local food of the Waikato region.

Read more about the Waikato here: A brief history of the Waikato as a foodbasket.

Update: in 2022 I’m taking a break from writing to focus on other projects. In particular, my life coaching business and ukulele teaching.

But I love writing about food, so I’m sure I’ll be back.

Photo taken by Brooke Baker


I live in Hamilton, a city on the beautiful Waikato River in the heartland of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

I think the Waikato region should be famous for food, but it isn’t – yet. Articles and books about New Zealand food tend to skip quickly through this part of the world.

The Waikato region is mainly famous for dairy farms, which produce vast quantities of milk and other dairy products for the global market.

But there’s so much more here. You just have to know where to find it.

My idea of food: fresh, local, slow

I’m an omnivore. I go for free range and organic where possible.

I like cooking with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. I have an affinity with the Weston A Price Nourishing Traditions back to basics approach.

I love growing and cooking with herbs. My favourite herbs are parsley and thyme, closely followed by rosemary, tarragon, basil and nettles. I love nettle tea.

My favourite fruit is a tree-ripened apple, or a freshly picked peach.

I enjoy gardening, but I’m very sporadic about it. The plants that grow best are the ones that thrive on neglect.

I love growing salad greens. Curly endive and chicory are essentials.

And I am very proud to have in my garden some taro plants whose ancestors arrived on the Tainui canoe in the 13th century. (That’s what I was told by the friend who gifted them to me.) Here’s my post about what I do with taro.

I also love making and eating traditional fermented foods – sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha and beyond.

I’ve been mostly wheat free for 40 years. This means I’m always thinking in terms of a diverse diet.

I spent a whole decade catering to the appetites of two ravenous teenage males, a.k.a. “stomachs on legs”. We would eat all the contents of the larder and the fridge twice every week. In those days, quantity and timing of food usually came ahead of quality and any other considerations.

But those days are past. These days my husband Matthew and I take turns cooking for just the two of us. Sometimes we even have leftovers.