If you're looking for a way to produce your own fresh, organic vegetables, even in the cold of winter, and let's say for instance that you live in an apartment with no access to an earthen patch that you can call your own, then indoor gardening might be the way to go. It's actually quite easy to get started, and there exists a few different options as to how you can give yourself fresh living food all year round, even if you live in a concrete jungle, studio apartment.
Although there currently are a few options that one can utilize to effectively grow great vegetables indoors, the classic pot and soil method is always a great option. It's always nice to bring a bit of outdoor tradition indoors. Getting the best soil that you can is key to providing your vegetable plants with the essential nutrients that they require in order yield a sizable amount of produce. Me being a gardener myself, I find that just throwing a bunch of nutrient rich goodness together to produce one big mass of great soil is always the best bet. Adding a little charcoal to the mix helps to create a more fertile soil mixture, which is especially good for indoor gardening, as charcoal allows the bacteria on the roots of plants to secrete enzymes that release the minerals stored by the charcoal, and stimulates plant growth. When adding charcoal, you should add as much as you can. Some of the richest and most fertile soils on the planet are anywhere from forty to seventy or eighty percent charcoal. It is a technique that has been used by aboriginals in the Amazon for centuries, and it helped them to produce an abundance of crops.
Another method, currently growing in popularity, especially with the advent of the Window Farms movement, is the application of hydroponics, as well as aquaponics (which is essentially the same as hydroponics, only with the addition of fish into the system) for the purposes of enhancing the ability of the average person to be their own indoor farmer. The concept of hydroponics is fairly straight forward, operating on the principle of cycling nutrient rich water from bottom to top, and allowing it to drip back down again through compartments which house the plants, providing the roots with nutrients in the process. Obviously, getting water from a low place to a high place involves a mechanical device, e.i. a water/air pump, so electricity is involved in the process.
For those who are not into creating too much of a fuss in order to grow vegetables, the traditional method can be just as effective, and does not force one to inadvertently contribute to their electric bill (miniscule as it may be). I have experience with both methods, where I created a relatively simple hydroponics system from empty milk cartons and an old water fountain that I wasn't using any more (details of which, can be found here). The great thing about indoor gardening, is that food can be produced year round; the growing season is not confined to the few months in spring and summer. In general, if you can create the appropriate environment for plant growth, then you can grow almost anything, any time, but the vegetables that do the best in the cold months are green, leafy vegetables, and most root vegetables. Most will grow right outside, even while there's snow on the ground, and in freezing temperatures, so even if you are indoors, as long as you can find a relatively sunny window to transform into an indoor farm, you are sure to find success when attempting to grow vegetables indoors.
More information on hydroponics can be found here, as well information pertaining to the Window Farms movement. Happy farming! ^_^