If only they had released it sooner! In a move that is sure to both infuriate and excite plenty of FarmVille players (trust me, it's possible to do both at once), Zynga has released a coin option to purchase the first land expansion in Lighthouse Cove, called the Coastal Patch. Why would this be a bad thing? If you recall, we needed to reach at least this expansion for the first set of Bonus Challenge goals in the Lighthouse Cove, but many people (myself included) decided to skip it (and all of the prizes available therein) due to the Farm Cash cost.
Either way, this new coin-option itself does come with a catch. As of this writing, it looks like the vast majority of users need to add more Neighbors to their game in order to unlock it. This isn't a case like in the English Countryside where you must simply ask your friends for help; this is a case where you legitimately need to add new farmers to your account (and whether or not the new FarmVille Friends feature neighbors count remains to be seen).
The amount of neighbors you'll need to add seems to vary across users, but I personally only had to add two (for your reference). Once you've fulfilled whatever the game asks of you, you can then purchase the Coastal Patch expansion for 750,000 coins. If we're starting out with that price, which I wouldn't consider to be inexpensive, I can only imagine how high the prices will soar for additional expansions in the future. In the meantime though, I suppose it's best not to argue and accept this land expansion for coins while we can.
Did you already expand to the Coastal Patch farm for Farm Cash? Will you add new neighbors just to expand for coins? Sound off in the comments.