Three generations along, the Tapia family keeps the Valley's agricultural history alive with an 80-acre farm and produce stand in Encino. Tapia Bros. Fresh Produce, which closes in colder months, typically greets spring with strawberries and tomatoes. The family also grows corn, keeps chickens, pheasant and goats, and sells flowers. Once you've had a taste and said hello to the animals, cross Burbank Boulevard for the wide-open spaces of the Sepulveda Basin and Sepulveda Dam recreation areas, with lots of grass and nine miles of flat trails that are highly popular with joggers, dog-walkers and kids on bikes. This broad area, north of Encino and south of Van Nuys, was designed to collect water in a major flood. It also includes the Sepulveda Basin Dog Park; Lake Balboa Park; Balboa, Encino and Woodley Lakes municipal golf courses; and the Japanese Garden (6100 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys; http://www.thejapanesegarden.com), a 61/2-acre landscaped haven with a tea room.
David Karp / For The Times
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