Mushroom Log question

I made a mushroom log and am ready to harvest but am second-guessing actually eating them.

2 years ago we took down oak trees and turned one of the fresh-cut logs into a mushroom log. I inoculated it with shiitake spores (drilled holes, tapped in shiitake-inoculated wooden plugs, covered them with beeswax), then balanced them on rocks in a shady spot. (Balanced on rocks because I wanted to give the shiitake a head start, not other wild mushrooms. It’s very possible I overthought this).

Last summer we got a few mushrooms that looked like shiitakes. This spring that log is fruiting strongly! They sure look like shiitakes.

There is a wild mushroom that’s very toxic, Funeral Bell, that is widespread in the Northeast US where I am.

It seems ludicrously unlikely that a fresh-cut tree that we immediately inoculated with shiitake spawn and kept off the soil would somehow grow a poisonous dupe mushroom. But, ya know, death.

Question: if you have grown mushrooms on logs before, under these circumstances would you eat these?

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They do look like shiitakes to me (and not Galerina marginata), but I am not eating them. I suggest that you contrast the identifying characteristics between the mushrooms, which can be found on the internet. If you feel satisfactory that you correctly ID them, then have at it. If there is something that seems inconsistent, then do not eat them.

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Take a look at many pictures of the funeral bell It should be hard to confuse it with the “furry” cap of shitake. Plus it is rather yellowish while shitake is not - unless bad things happened to it, if course. :wink: It can be more easily mixed up with flammulina or armillaria (I am wary of picking those without the scaly cap exactly for this reason).
I would bet my liver, that it is shitake in your pictures. But the liver at stake is not mine.
Do you perhaps have a public service that helps with mushroom ID to be 100% confident?

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With mushroom ID, it helps to also show the underside. You are right to be weary for the f safety of your family. Keep in mind it’s also possible a log might have several types of mushrooms, so don’t assume if you ID one mushroom on the log, it applies to all.

Those mushrooms in pictures do resemble shiitake, which can have bit of a “woolly” and cracked appearance. Shiitake flesh is white and feel spongy. If you’re unsure, you could buy some shiitake from the store to use as reference (though cultivars may differ and somewhat affect appearence)

Check some of the characteristics of Funeral Bell, which have a darker brown skin and gelatinous/greasy/wet appearance, smaller size, and brown flesh. That doesn’t appear to be what’s in your pictures.
https://www.mushroomexpert.com/galerina_marginata.html

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I’m a novice too. I would not know. I was given a mushroom log, it was meant as a mushroom log, pre-inoculated. You just grow it, and NOT outside. So I’m positive they are the right mushrooms. So those who want to try get a log like mine.

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If grown shitake on logs for a few years now. But i’d still consider myself very much a novice.

Like others commented. The people giving advice here aren’t the ones risking their health. You are! And at the end of the day we’re all strangers on an internet forum without a reliably way for you to check if we’re trustworthy. Maybe not a huge problem when pruning a fruit tree. (it will regrow when following bad advice). But an important thing to keep in mind when it’s about your health.

Now that disclaimer is out of the way.

To me, they look like shitake. Although the shitakes if grown can look quite different depending on weather/time of year.

Also note that I’m on another continent than you. So the wild toxic mushrooms in my area are likely very different from yours.

If you decide to eat them. My advice would be to first taste a tiny bit. And spit it out. While not a guarantee it would not hurt you. It will lower the chances of poisoning vs ingesting. Raw shitake takes a few seconds for you to taste. But the aftertaste is quite clear and pronounced and lasting. Even from a tiny nibble.

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Just a heads-up: we do have galerina marginata in Europe. And although it grows mostly on conifer wood, it is abundant in oak forests around Danube, so you likely have it in the Netherlands, too.

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I agree with all the cautions. That said, they look like shiitake to me. I’ve grown shiitake on oak logs for ~8 years.

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Thanks all. I’m going to contact the mushroom spore sellers.

Here is the log I’m growing.

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Lovely, looks like you kept it well hydrated.

One drawback about growing mushrooms indoors is spores, which can be hazardous to your pulmonary health. Harvesting before gills are exposed eliminates the spore problem.

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They suggest harvesting at cap width of one to two inches. Long before spores are released. You could outfit in the garage or outside. I wanted to grow it indoors to avoid any contamination. They also highly suggest to reuse log a second time once all mushrooms are harvested. The log is covered with the mushroom organism the fungi itself and it will produce more fruits if conditioned a second time.
They suggest when finished to break log up and use as mulch in containers or garden.
Those bigger mushrooms will be harvested today.

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I’d strongly recommend storing the log outside. The volume of spores released is incredible. All you have to do is forget for half a day and you could have clouds indoors.

That goes for the harvested mushrooms too. Keep them in a closed container.

That would be against label directions. When my mushrooms are 2 inches they are completely solid under the caps. Harvest at two inches. I guess if I wanted bigger mushrooms I should take them outside. For now I’ll stick to label directions. I’m not a huge mushroom fan, it was a gift. I’m going to have to be creative to use them all.

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They are shiitakes, and you should pick them ASAP and enjoy them. Funeral bells look absolutely nothing like the mushrooms on your log.

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Yeah, I know. But I grow home-made logs all the time. Literally all the time. They do perfectly fine in a humid, shady spot.

Of course, if this is a one-off project for you and you can be diligent about picking early, you can follow the instructions.

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I appreciate you pointing out the spore problem. It’s important to know. Some are meant to be outside. If I do it again I’ll probably choose that option. I also have tons of wood for plugs. I own a couple wooded lots.

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