Many gourmet food fans have turned to gardening as a source of fresh produce for their cooking. One of the perks of being a gardener foodie is the possibility of having fresh herbs at hand at all times. When cold weather comes and the gardens die down, you don't have to give up fresh herbs. Pot up a few as houseplants, and you'll be adding fresh flavor to your cooking all winter long.
Oregano is one of the most popular herbs for Italian cooking. It goes well in soups and pasta dishes. If you are buying oregano for cooking use, purchase Greek oregano rather than common oregano. The common type has attractive flowers but offers no real flavor. Oregano grows only 6 to 8 inches tall, making it ideal for indoor growing.
Basil leaves are a main ingredient in pesto sauce and are prized by gourmet cooks. Indoor herb gardeners can choose from many varieties to grow, such as lemon, anise or cinnamon flavored basil. Basil can be harvested as soon as the plants have a few sets of leaves on them, and harvesting the leaves actually encourages the plants to get bushier and sprout more leaves.
Sage is a perennial that produces leaves that are tasty in omelets, sausage dishes and stuffing. The woody-stemmed plant can grow up to 2 feet tall. The gray-green leaves make an attractive contrast with brighter leaves of other herbs. Gardeners who want a smaller plant can grow the "Compacta" variety which only grows 10 inches tall.
For foodie gardeners who are interested in creating their own herbal teas, mint is a worthwhile addition to the indoor garden. Mint is so easy to grow that many gardeners insist on only growing it in containers, as it has a habit of taking over an entire garden otherwise. Mint growers have a large variety from which to choose, such as peppermint, spearmint, apple mint and pineapple mint.