Sure its edible. Just about any fruit from palms is edible. It's sort of like dandelion leaves. They're edible too but I usually don't go out and pick them for a salad. The commercially produced dates are so much higher quality and there is so much work involved in producing dates I don't know why anyone would bother. There are some other factors as well that may not make it easy for the homeowner.
For instance, date palm varieties aren't all the same. Some are really not that good tasting. There are about 1500 different types of date palms. Of these maybe only a few more that 50 are used for production of date fruit world-wide. Your date palm may or may not be the type of date you are thinking about. The easiest way of starting a new date palm is by separating sideshoots from the mother plant. This way you are assured that the plant will be a female or fruit producing plant. They can be grown easily from seed but the chances are fifty-fifty that the seed grown plant will be a non-producing male. You won't find out for about eight years.
Even if you have a Deglet Noor variety, which represents about 75 percent of California's commercial date production and the one you probably have in mind, getting quality fruit is difficult. In the United States good production means hand or machine pollination of the individual flowers. In the case of hand pollination, this means climbing the tree with a ladder and either dusting the female flowers with male pollen or tying the male flower clusters into the female clusters. And this just can't be just any old pollen. Pollen from different males can affect the size of fruit, size of seed and time of ripening. Lack of pollination results in small, seedless fruits.
Once successfully pollinated, the bunches, and the fruit, must be thinned, just like you would your peaches. The bunches are then tied to the petioles of the leaves for support and the bunches are covered. Covering the bunches protects it from rain, dirt and birds. For optimum fruit maturity, they need high temperatures from flowering to fruiting, and low rainfall and low humidity during fruit ripening. High humidity or rain during this period will result in fruit cracking, blackening and fermenting, and the development of molds. All fruits in a cluster and all clusters on a palm do not ripen at the same time. A number of pickings may have to be made over a period of several weeks.
More than 90 percent of the commercial date acreage in the United States is planted in California and most of California's is in the Coachella Valley. In the Coachella Valley, dates ripen from late September through December and there are typically 6 to 8 pickings per palm. Don't let this discourage you. There are other uses for date palms than just the fruit. In Italy, the young leaves are used to supply the churches for religious use on Palm Sunday. In some part of the world the leaves have been commonly used for making huts, mats, screens, baskets, crates and fans.
The leaf petioles have been found to be a good source of wood pulp. When combined with ground up peanut shells and corncobs, they have been used for making construction materials. Dried, they are used as brooms, fishing floats, and fuel for burning. The midribs can be made into baskets. The leaf sheaths, since they are high in coumarin, the same smell as new mown hay, have been prized for their scent. Fiber from the old leaf sheaths is used for various purposes including rope, coarse cloth and large hats. Good luck!
By Bob Morris