|why would anyone grow an orchard of crab apples?|
I took a WSU extension course in hard cider production, and learned that the off-tasting (and smaller) apples are often used as a flavor agent in batches of hard cider, and in fact, could make very tasty cider when mixed with juice from other varieties.
If you're interested in what WSU has to say about cider, you'll find it here.
|More normal (to me) apple|
|The birds think they are ripe|
|several thousand pounds await|