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The Climate

Thanks to the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north, the Puget Sound to the east, and the Olympic Mountains that create a rain shadow to the south, the North Olympic Peninsula enjoys a unique climate.

  The Climate
 

Summers are usually dry, but not too hot. Winters are relatively mild, compared to the American Midwest or Northeast. This makes it possible to harvest winter greens (kales, collards, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage and spinach) and root crops (beets, carrots, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, and sunchokes) sometimes into March.

Unlike Eastern Washington or the Midwest, Western Washington never stays extremely cold because the marine influence from the Pacific Ocean moderates the temperatures. The Olympic Mountains offer further protection from violent storms on the North Olympic Peninsula. Yes, we can get very low temperatures, but nothing like Iowa, or even Yakima. If we raise vegetables that are bred for cold climates, like cabbages, collards and kales, and root crops, we can usually keep producing into spring. Sometimes Mother Nature can deliver a really harsh cold spell, but those are usually short-lived—a matter of weeks, rather than months. We may lose part of our crops, but very rarely close down for the season.

The combination of moderate winters and dry summers make the Sequim-Dungeness Valley an ideal place to raise seed for those winter vegetables (members of the brassicae family). Indeed, Sequim is one of the few places on the planet where such seed is grown in quantity, especially overwintering cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

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