Farmers' Market open March 28-April 1st worth checking out?
For apples only?
If you want to branch out, the early spring greens have started to appear and they are a revelation. I'm currently hooked on the tatsoi from Lani's Farm; they offer two types..the overwintered and the just sprouted. Monday and Saturday at Union Square; many, many other types of spring greens, spinach, and lettuces, plus eggs.
There is some overlap with Bodhitree Farms, who are at the market on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Both farms have broccoli raab now, as does the large Migliorelli stand. And I've just seen watercress among the root veg, onions, shallots, and potatoes at Pfaffenroth (Wed and Sat)
On Mondays, I love the various sweet potatoes ($1 per pound) from Race Farms; they also make surprisingly good cookies in several varieties.
More info here:
Also, if you still want to check out Race Farms, they've been set up at the corner of Carmine St. and Sixth Ave. on weekdays lately.
Since you're just visiting, I don't think you'll be able to pick up eggs, or veggies unless you like eating them raw. As far as prepared stuff goes, there are a few great vendors with cheeses, fruit pies, pastries, ciders, etc. Just stroll through—there isn't one bad vendor, IMO.
Depends, as loratliff mentions, if you are eating items while you're here, or taking stuff back home.
Non-perishable items you might want to pick up (some will require careful transport):
Local honey - I like Andrew's because he labels it w/ what neighborhood the hives are in, i.e. East Village, Union Square, etc.
Oak Grove for grains, flours, baked good mixes, popcorn kernals
Catskill Merino for hand-dyed yarn
3 Corner Field for wool, milk soap, hats, sweaters, sheepskins, etc.
Jams from Berkshire Berries or Beth's Jams - look for the garlic, hot pepper, etc. and of course you should wrap these up tightly for any checked luggage on a plane, maybe get some bubble wrap
Deep Mountain's maple syrups and maple candy
Hawthorne Valley Farm for granola
Wines from Anthony Road, Buzzard Crest - you might want to bring one of those wine travel bags
Some farmers may still have apple butter, kimchi - again, you'll need to wrap these up tight for any checked luggage on a plane
Pickles from Rick's Picks - I'm partial to the okra and the asparagus
Certain cheeses will keep for a few days
Not the best time of year to buy apples, but if you still want them, I would buy and taste one before you commit to a big bag. They've been stored for months now and different vendors have different storage capabilities. The Pink Lady's from Caradona (Wed and Sat) are pretty good now (but they are small) and Locust Grove is another premier vendor (same days), in addition to Red Jacket mentioned above.
I have to 2nd this. I picked up some apples from vendors I had bought from a great deal back in the Fall, and these were dull in comparison, and full of bruises.
Seasonally, NY is in a crossover period where not a lot is available in season yet. There might be some early season fruits popping up shortly though.